Joyland fighting for survival amid COVID-19 shutdown - FOX34 Lubbock

Joyland fighting for survival amid COVID-19 shutdown

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Instead of preparing for a busy Memorial Day weekend, Joyland is preparing for the worst.

The amusement park is fighting to re-open after the governor has allowed other non-essential businesses to begin the process.

"We tried to keep our part time people on, but we could see that eventually, we wouldn't survive if we did. One of the most heartbreaking things I've ever had to do was terminate them and let them go. We have people that have been with us, oh my goodness, 25 years or more," Owner David Dean said.

With a Personal Protection Payment loan, or PPP, the business has been able to bring its full-time staff back on board, for now.

On Wednesday, they were preparing the park for what was an expected opening this Friday.

But now, it is unknown when and if the theme park will be able to open.

"Almost everyone's open now, but we're closed, and the problem is this, the money from PPP will run out quickly and when it does, we won't be able to exist anymore," Dean said.

Management has already put together a comprehensive guideline, that would require employees to wear masks, call for increased cleanings, including in between rides, and comply with social distancing recommendations.

City leaders are in support.

"It's a place where people want to bring their kids and their grand kids. They're an important part of the fabric of our community, we believe they can open, safely," Mayor Dan Pope said during a press conference on Wednesday.

Dean says the park has faced adversity before, but never like this.

"The COVID outbreak, we have no control over it at all. We have to just, sit on the sidelines and wait. And that's what's been so tough."

Adventure Park, one of Joyland's competitors, is raising money for the park, with its limited operations.

User: Adventure Park To: link


Dean is also encouraging customers to buy gift cards, called EnJOYment cards, that will be good through next season, to give the long-running business, a fighting chance.

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