GREENSBORO, N.C. — After a year from amusement park hell, two major Greensboro tourist attractions are looking forward to turning the page.
Wet'n Wild at Emerald Point has gone 600+ days since visitors walked through its gate. The Greensboro Science Center, named one of the state's top attractions, has seen restrictions and regulations from health officials hamper visitation numbers throughout the pandemic.
However, on the day the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available and temperatures creep into the mid-70s, both organizations are hopeful in the days to come.
"The weather has been beautiful, people are becoming vaccinated, and our numbers are actually getting pretty good." the Science Center's Erica Brown said, "It's a little like those pre-COVID numbers. Especially on those nice weekends."
A majority of the Greensboro Science Center has reopened, with the exception of more hands-on attractions, Brown said. While most special events remain canceled, Brown expects the newly constructed "Brontosaurus Tree House Adventure" to be a fan-favorite in the near future. Additionally, the Center is adding a 12-acre expansion to its zoo in late May.
She's hopeful the outdoor events will allow folks who are less comfortable with COVID-19 circumstances to enjoy attractions this summer.
"We're hoping to see upwards of 750,000 to, hopefully, 1,000,000 visitors," Brown said.
Wet'n Wild will have to wait a little longer before welcoming people back. The park staff is hard at work repainting, repairing and preparing ahead of the Memorial Day weekend opening. May 29 marks nearly two years since people visited the park due to various repairs and the pandemic.
"It will be a little different of an experience than they have experienced in the past," Wet'n Wild Marketing Director Kaylah Macauley said, "but we are just really looking forward to getting reopened."
"Any season will be better than 2020," Macauley continued.
Guests at Wet'n Wild are not required to wear masks in pools or walking between attractions according to the state's health requirements. Masks are expected to be worn, however, walking around the rest of the park, Macauley said.
The amusement park has seen an uptick in ticket sales on warmer days. Macauley believes this is a good indication the Wet'n Wild will reach the number of seasonal visitors comparable to COVID-19.
"I think everyone is looking forward to the summer and being outside with their families," Macauley said.
Wet'n Wild had to pause construction and inspection of its newest ride, "Bombs Away", but it is expected to open in 2022.