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NEAAPA – The Northeast’s Entertainment Association

NEAAPA Weekly News - April 28, 2021

April 28, 2021


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Now here is your weekly email of news you can use from around the industry...


Massachusetts Amusement, Water Parks can Reopen May 10, Fairs & Festivals May 29, both at 50%

On April 27, the Baker-Polito Administration made several announcements including the reopening of amusement and water parks, fairs, and festivals.

  • Outdoor Amusement and Water Parks can reopen May 10 at 50% capacity
  • Fairs and Festivals can be held at 50% of their previous capacity
  • Indoor Water Parks can reopen August 1

All restrictions will be lifted by August 1, pending public health and vaccination data.


CDC updates outdoor masking guidance

On April 27, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced changes to the guidance for outdoor mask wearing. People who are fully vaccinated can participate in outdoor activities without a mask, even when around small groups of both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.


However, the CDC is still recommending that all people continue to wear masks if they are in crowded public outdoor settings, like an amusement park. For the updated guidance, click on the button below. 


Six Flags New England to reopen with rides on May 14

The theme park will reopen on Friday, May 14 for members and season pass holders and the following day for the general public.

“We are beyond thrilled that we can reopen our theme park with a full complement of our more than 100 rides, attractions, and unique experiences,” Six Flags New England Park President Pete Carmichael said in a statement. “Now more than ever families need an escape that is safe, accessible, and fun. The thrill is calling.”


Safety protocols will remain in place at Six Flags. All guests - including members and season pass holders - will need to reserve tickets online to ensure the park doesn’t exceed 50% capacity. The park will continue to employ thermal imaging for temperature checks for guests upon arrival at the park and social distancing markers will be located throughout the park. Masks remain mandated for guests and staff.


Six Flags New England also has “‘clean teamers,’ folks who go around and make sure to sanitize and disinfect the common touch points that you would find throughout a theme park,” Carmichael told MassLive. “We accomplish that through the use of electrostatic guns that spray the sanitization chemicals to ensure that we are sanitizing on a regular basis.”


Lake Compounce boosts pay as it seeks 900 more workers this summer

Anticipating a busy season, Lake Compounce amusement park announced longer hours and higher pay for workers.


The park said it wants to hire 900 additional workers to staff hours similar to its pre-pandemic schedule. Workers age 18 and up are guaranteed $15 an hour and will get free season passes for themselves and three family members at the park, which features thrill rides, water slides and stage shows. Connecticut’s current minimum wage is $12 per hour and it’s scheduled to hit $15 on June, 1, 2023.

“All signs point to an unforgettable summer, so we're stepping up our recruitment efforts to attract great candidates and deliver amazing experiences for our guests,” General Manager Larry Gorneault, Jr. said. 


Workers are needed in all departments, with a focus on recruiting lifeguards, ride operators and catering staff. Measures to protect new hires from COVID-19 include a mask requirement for in-person interviews and orientations and strict adherence to indoor capacity limitations. Online orientations are offered to returning workers.


IAAPA-Funded Study Results: Masks and their Ability to Safely Reduce Social Distancing

Experimental and Numerical Evaluations of Masks and their Ability to Safely Reduce Social Distancing


Together with the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Florida High Tech Corridor, IAAPA helped fund a study by the University of Central Florida Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Center for Advanced Turbomachinery & Energy Research. The focus of the experimental research was to study the effectiveness of wearing face coverings in relation to social distancing as a requirement to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other pathogens and/or disease from one infected person to another. The study was presented to IAAPA recently but has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The research explored the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), recommendation for six feet for social distancing between individuals to help prevent the spread of airborne particles from person to person. This recommendation has served as the baseline for social distancing standards in the United States for public and commercial businesses, including attractions industry facilities.
The six feet social distancing operational requirement has a significant impact the attractions industry and the overall guest experience. It impacts staffing, protocols for operating merchandise shops and food and beverage locations, back of house staffing, overall attendance capacity, queue lines, attraction loading, and more.
The purpose of the experimental research was to study numerical quantifications to determine if the baseline for social distancing should remain at six feet, or if the space could be reduced without compromising individuals’ safety. It looked at social distancing both with the use of face coverings and without.
The results of the experimental study indicate three feet of physical distancing with face coverings is more effective at reducing aerosol/droplet exposure than six feet without face coverings. These results may help attractions as they adjust operating protocols in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
IAAPA encourages members to read the study in its entirety and consider how its findings could be applied to their operation.
Read and download the study here
View Mask Effectiveness Videos here.
For questions or additional information about this study, please contact


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As parks and attractions reopen in 2021, you may be presented with challenges and hurdles due to the extended periods of closure unlike anything our industry has experienced in modern times.

The newly published Pre-opening Extended Checks for Rides and Attractions white paper is by design intended to provide inspiration and suggested guidance to help enable a safe and efficient transitional process from COVID-19 closures to successful and safe re-opening of your rides and attractions. 


As the global attractions industry works through the global COVID-19 crisis together, IAAPA remains committed to providing resources and information to assist members. The IAAPA Resource Page is updated daily with the latest tools and resources from around the world. Members in need of immediate assistance should contact their Regional Office or email IAAPA.


Do you have an idea for a Member Meeting Topic that you could lead? Contact Ed Hodgdon at


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