Cedar Point’s gates will reopen, but social distancing will limit access to the park

Governor clears way for Cedar Point to open on June 19 and it is a big boost for local businesses.

Cedar Point’s gates will reopen, but social distancing will limit access to the park

SANDUSKY, Ohio (WOIO) - Gov. Mike DeWine announced that amusement parks, water parks and casinos can open on June 19, just a day after a lawsuit was filed in an attempt to force the state to allow amusement parks to reopen.

But when Cedar Point may actually reopen is unclear, as park management says it will announce specific reopening dates soon.

Just the fact that the park will reopen sometime soon was met with smiling faces up the causeway at Cedar Corner, the restaurant-hotel complex that is owned by Mike Sortino and his family.

“It’s a happy day, a lot of smiling faces around here,” Sortino said.

There was a good Friday evening crowd in the Thirsty Pony restaurant, but Sortino made it clear that business here is driven by Cedar Point and while the pandemic ripped through the state, it did not look good for his business.

“It’s been devastating,” Sortino said, “You could never have predicted and you can’t plan for something like this.”

Even with the news that Cedar Point will reopen there is little doubt that this summer will be dramatically different than most summers in Sandusky, at Cedar Point and for local businesses.

Cedar Point will put in place extensive safety protocols that will include guests registering for park entrance through the Cedar Point web site and app, and there will be capacity limitations to help ensure social distancing.

And restaurants will not be at capacity due to state regulations that remain in effect regarding seating and social distancing requirements, but having the park open, in any capacity, is better than a summer with the gates at Cedar Point closed.

“We go as Cedar Point goes,” Sortino said, “If Cedar Point has a great year we all have a great year.”

Hotel Breakers, the Cedar Point-owned facility on Lake Erie, will open on June 12 and that includes beach access and shoreline activities.

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