Island Waterpark is open again, but staff shortage means weekends only

Local News

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – There are signs with COVID-19 rules and regulations posted all over Island Waterpark as it gets ready to open up for the first time since 2019.

“So, it won’t be quite what it normally was like at the end of 2019, so there will be some restrictions,” said general manager Bob Martin. “There’ll be some social distancing that needs to go on. So that might be a little painful for our guests, but I think overall they’re gonna be happy to have those restrictions.”

Guests have to wear a face mask when not in the water and it’s suggested they bring a second one in case the first one gets wet. There are also more than a hundred sanitizing stations throughout the waterpark. Additionally, the CDC says chlorine in properly maintained water should inactivate the coronavirus.

“Kids splashing around in the water, bumping into each other, they’re fully chlorinated and we think it’s a very safe environment for people to come out and enjoy themselves.”

The park opens this weekend with limited hours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. – for now, it will only be open on Saturdays and Sundays.

“We’re weekends only for the first few weeks for multiple reasons, but the biggest reason is, there’s a lifeguard shortage and you can’t run a waterpark without lifeguards.” 

Currently, the waterpark has two hundred people on staff compared to the normal 400. Martin says hiring has been tough.

“We’re struggling to get enough people hired. We have enough to be able to open the park, but hopefully more people will decide not to take their stimulus checks and get off the couch and come out here and work.”

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