reopening the bay area

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Preps to Reopen

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Many Santa Cruz businesses were up and running Wednesday after the county moved its way into the state’s Orange Tier for coronavirus concerns. 

The move could put the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk into the position of becoming the first amusement park in California to reopen, but it needs to overcome some hurdles before letting people back in. 

Ricky Emmerts has been a regular at Boardwalk Bowl for 25 years and is thrilled the bowling alley, which was first closed in March, reopened at 25% capacity Wednesday.

“It’s been horrific having it closed. I mean, this is one of my go-to things,” he said. “I looked forward to it every week.”

Director Willie King says he’s relieved his bowling alley and other neighboring businesses such as restaurants and retail shops can now operate at some level, but adds it won’t be a full recovery until the Beach Boardwalk reopens. 

“The Boardwalk is the soul of Santa Cruz, very important for us,” said King.

Beach Boardwalk crews have already started cleaning rides, but the Santa Cruz County Public Health Director says state requirements make it a restricted opening. 

“It is restricted to 500 tickets, and it would also be restricted to only in-county residents,” said Dr. Gail Newel.

Out of county visitors, sisters Michelle Patton and Jane Martin say it all has to be one step at a time.

“I think it’s very important to remember that we have to wear our masks, and be sensible about it,” said Martin of Morgan Hill. “But not get so stressed about it that we don’t do anything.”

The Boardwalk says it is still working out details such as how to restrict and enforce the number of people coming in.

At this point, the focus is still on reopening while jerking the safety of employees and guests as its top priority.

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