Salt River Tubing won’t reopen this year despite getting clearance
PHOENIX – If you were all ready to float down the Salt River now that COVID-19 benchmarks have been met, here’s some deflating news:
Salt River Tubing announced Thursday that it would not reopen this year, just hours after it became legally possible to do so.
The popular attraction said it usually operates Fridays-Sundays this time of year until the end of September. That means there would be only 16 days remaining in its season, making restarting unfeasible.
“Understandably, many of our employees are unwilling to return to SRTR for only 16 operating days of the remaining season,” the company said in a press release.
Plans call for the next tubing season to begin April 24, 2021, the release said.
Salt River Tubing has been closed since June 29 under Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order that shut down the state’s indoor gyms, bars/nightclubs, indoor theaters, water parks and tubing operators.
The order was issued as coronavirus cases spiked across Arizona. But the spread of the virus has declined since the business closures were ordered and other mitigation policies were implemented.
The Arizona Department of Health Services created a phased reopening plan that includes benchmarks for three coronavirus metrics.
On Thursday morning, the benchmarks were met to put Maricopa County in the moderate spread range, meaning impacted businesses can start reopening.
Under the state plan, tubing operators and water parks can reopen at 50% of regular capacity in counties that qualify for moderate status.
There’s also a detailed list of health safety procedures they must pledge to implement before reopening.
The state-mandated requirements and restrictions cover elements such as hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, enhanced cleaning, ventilation for buses, symptom screening for staff, physical distancing, masks, communal spaces, towel policies and transportation.
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