Posted Thursday, February 25, 2021 5:36 PM | Contributed by Jeff
Many entertainment venues are hopeful for a successful reopening this year, but they also need allowances for higher capacity levels under COVID-19 restrictions before they are likely to be able to operate successfully. That includes Lakeside Amusement Park.
Read more and see video from KCNC/Denver.
The question is, what kind of capacity limits are they really facing, and how does that compare to their normal operations? The whole capacity limitations thing is an interesting game, and it has very different effects in different situations...
For example, my local grocery stores are limited to something like 30% of their fire-code capacity. At my usual store...a relatively small store...that's about 450 people. At Meijer, that's 1,200 people. Neither of those stores has even come close to its reduced capacity except *maybe* in the week before Christmas. Likewise, amusement parks opened at 10% capacity and ramped up to the point where I was seeing complaints that the parks seemed crowded...but they might only be at 50% of rated capacity. Our Governor is talking about letting baseball stadiums operate at 30% capacity...where 30% is a good size crowd for some of these places. But basketball and hockey arenas for now are being allowed 10% which is going to make them still seem mighty empty...because for those places, almost every night is a near-sellout, and even 30% would be a severe hit compared to a normal crowd.
I'm not saying these limitations are appropriate or not; just that if you compare normal operations at a lot of parks to their actual peak capacity, most of them are probably operating well below capacity most of the time.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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When the Orlando parks started to feel more crowded last fall, everyone started to complain that they increased capacity. In reality, even 35-40% of what would be a full capacity closure on New Year's Eve can be an irritatingly busy day. When the parks first reopened they were probably hitting 5-10% of "normal" capacity because most people weren't ready to come back yet. Folks assumed this is what "35-40% capacity" looked like and then accused the parks of upping capacity when, in reality, they were just getting a little closer to what would have been perfectly acceptable on Day 1 of the reopening had more people shown up
Denver County is in the state's Yellow category, which seems to limit outdoor event facility occupancy to 175 people unless granted a specific variance. Elitch Gardens is working to obtain such a variance to allow them to open May 1.
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