Pocono water parks are hoping to wave in guests with ease as they reopen after Monroe County slid into the green phase Friday.
With new safely protocols it place, such as cashless check-in and employee temperature checks, area resorts are hoping to entice out-of-town visitors and locals alike.
Many are offering discounts and deals on guest rooms and attractions.
They are also taking a cue from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Water parks located at Camelback Resort, Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari Resorts and Conventions have noted the CDC’s recommendations on their respective websites.
According to the CDC, there is is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds.
“Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection of pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds should inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19,” the CDC says online.
Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge (One Great Wolf Drive, Scotrun, 570-688-9899, greatwolf.com) will welcome back guests — dubbed “pack members,” but with new ‘paw-mises’ in place.
“The health, safety and wellbeing of our guests, pack members and community has long been our guiding principle at Great Wolf Lodge,” Chief Executive Officer for Great Wolf Resorts, Murray Hennessy, said in a statement. “We have been working to develop and implement comprehensive reopening plans based on guidance and protocols recommended by the government and CDC, and we’re excited to get families back to having fun with confidence because of the new safeguards we put into place across our resorts.”
The company’s safety plan, “Paw Pledge,” calls for new disinfecting and sanitizing protocols including round-the-clock sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces in public spaces, and extra hand sanitizer stations scattered throughout the resort and water park.
Masks will also be provided free of charge for guests who request them.
Popular slides at the waterpark include Alberta Falls (a four-story tandem tube ride), Coyote Canyon (slide with a 40-foot drop) and the Double Barrel Drop (with 450-degree spins and flashing LED lights).
Some attractions such as the North and South hot springs are closed.
The resort says it will operate at 50% capacity and follow the six-feet separation rule (look for markers on the floor placed at water slides and at the front desk, retail shops and eateries).
“The resort will remove, reposition or place out-of-service, chairs and tables throughout the water park and resort to ensure family groups can properly social distance themselves from other guests,” the resort said in a statement.
Great Wolf Lodge is offering 30% as part of its welcome back promotion.
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions
As one of the largest water park’s in the area, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions (250 Kalahari Boulevard, Pocono Manor, 877-525-2427, kalahariresorts.com) has discounted resort stays.
With favorite rides such as the Flowrider (a body boarding surf situation with five-foot waves) and the Tanzanian Twister body slide (riders twist through a tunnel before falling into a seven-foot pool)
The resort and convention center hopes to attract residents looking to staycation with deals such as 20% off hotel rooms.
“Just like visitors traveling to the Poconos, locals can take advantage of Kalahari as an all-under-one-roof family entertainment destination. Beyond having America’s largest indoor water park, Kalahari is home to a world class spa, premium dining, arcade and game room and much more,” Karolyn Doro, a spokesperson for Kalarhari and corporate director of rooms, said. “Gorilla Grove Treetop Adventure has outdoor fun, like mini golf, zip lining and a ropes course, and indoors, the Big Game Room has a blacklight laser tag arena, mini golf, bowling and three themed escape rooms.”
The steakhouse Double Cut Charcoal Grill will be open, as well as Sortino’s Italian Kitchen and B-Lux Grill and Bar — all at 50% capacity.
Doro says the resort’s size is estimated at close to a million square feet, which provides plenty of space for guests to spread out amid the new safety measures.
“The Kalahari Commitment to Clean outlines all the ways we’re addressing safety throughout the resort, during check in, in the water park, restaurants and guest rooms,” Doro said. “Guests will see the precautions we’re taking to ensure safety throughout the resort.”
New changes include physical distancing at check-in; resort maps and other info sent via text message; sanitizer stations throughout the property; cash free methods of payment; removal of high-touch items in guest rooms; single use paper menus in restaurants and express check out.
“Within the waterpark, we’ve removed chairs and loungers for social distancing and are frequently sanitizing chairs and loungers,” Doro said.
Similar measures have been implemented at Camelback Resort and Great Wolf Lodge.
Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Water Park
Camelback Resort (193 Resort Drive, Tannersville, 855-515-1283, CamelbackResort.com) has reopened it’s 166-acre campus in stages as Monroe County entered the yellow phase last month. The resort welcomed guests back to Camelback Lodge and Camelback Mountain Adventures on June 12, and will reopen Aquatopia Indoor Water Park on Friday.
Camelback’s outdoor water park, Camelbeach, (309 Resort Drive, Tannersville, 570-629-1662) is planning to open July 1.
“The beauty of Camelback Resort is the breadth of our campus… with plenty of open space, incredible outdoor activities and exciting adventures in the fresh mountain air,” President and Managing Director of Camelback Resort Shawn Hauver said in an online statement. “Camelback wants to provide all guests with the comfort of mind that you can enjoy your stay and feel safe.”
Like other resorts in the area, Camelback has implemented hand sanitizer stations and heightened cleaning measures. In addition, Camelback Lodge has only reopened 50% of its 453 guest rooms.
Cleaning measures at Aquatopia fall in line with other water parks in the area, and “exceed industry standards” according to Camelback’s website. The resort also plans to have guests follow social distancing measures, such as limiting group raft occupants on slides and attractions to guest parties only, rather than mixing with strangers.
In the event that a guest displays signs of illness, a Camelback Emergency Medical Technician will offer a discreet secondary wellness screening to ensure health and safety.
Camelback will participate in a live broadcast with the Pocono Mountains Visitor’s Bureau Friday at 1 p.m. on PTN, Instagram and Facebook to celebrate opening day.
The resort has implemented several additional procedures to accommodate guests during Monroe County’s green phase. The list in full is available online at camelbackresort.com/covid-19-updates.
— Record Managing Editor Ashley C. Fontones contributed to this story.
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