COVID-19 pandemic hits hard for Waldameer Park and Water World’s summer season

Local News

Waldameer is experiencing a short season and lack of guests due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Waldameer opened their doors in July, cutting their already short season, shorter.

It’s been a “chaos” of a season for the park, open for about 62 days out of their normal 108.

“It was very frustrating that we couldn’t operate a full season. We couldn’t hire enough employees for a normal year. We hired about 75% of what we would hire.” said Steve Gorman, President of Waldameer and Water World.

The park also seeing 20% of park guests overall. The winter months ahead are also going to bring struggles for the park, according to Gorman.

“We will have to borrow money to get through the winter because of the expenses occurred with the new attractions. It’s a financial hit for sure.” Gorman said.

The family-owned park will need to get a loan of more than $1 million to cover cost. Gorman said there has been some positives this year, seeing families travel to the area to visit the park.

“It was very much needed. I’m an essential worker, so I needed to get away. I needed a place to get away.” said Louise Kolz, a resident of Bath, New York.

JET 24 Action News spoke with one family who said it’s great to still be able to come out to the amusement park and experience some of the classics like the Wacky Shack.

“It’s heartbreaking. I don’t mind going out and helping places like this, as long as we’re doing our part and they’re doing theirs, I will go.” said Jennifer Mayo, a resident of Girard.

Waldameer will continue operations for the 2020 season until Monday, September 7th.

Next season will mark 125 years of Waldameer, and due to the financial setback, they will not have a major celebration. They also wanted to debut two new attractions. That has now been pushed back until 2022.

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