The manager of The Cache Valley Fun Park said there’s been a boost in business since a recent Facebook post from the establishment, which outright asked for patrons to come since “we are in serious jeopardy” of closing.
But General Manager Gary Wiser told a reporter on Tuesday the North Logan business is “not out of the woods yet” when it comes to dealing with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“At least we have a hope that we’re going to be able to survive this,” he said.
Both Wiser’s comments and the Facebook post are snapshots of how the Fun Park is faring after it reopened for business. It had been deemed nonessential in March, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to pick up speed in the U.S., and shut down, according to Wiser. Then, he said, the Fun Park opened in May, after Gov. Gary Herbert moved businesses to the “yellow” risk phase, where Cache and Rich counties remain for now.
“It was better because we had actual income coming, but it wasn’t anywhere near a sustainable business level,” Wiser said of the Fun Park’s revenue.
That’s why the business, located at 255 E. 1770 North, is pointing customers to links for them to purchase gift certificates, buy the Fun Park’s own food via DoorDash, as well as inviting them to come in and use the amenities there, including a bowling alley, a roller skating rink, arcade games and a “soft play” area.
When asked how much of an uptick in business there had been since last week’s Facebook post, Wiser estimated it’s not back to normal levels, but better compared to where it was before.
“There are very positive signs we are going to make it,” Wiser said, but if Herbert directs businesses like the Fun Park to shut down amid a rise in more confirmed COVID-19 cases, “that may put us under, because we don’t have a lot of savings left.”
“So, there are some things beyond our control, but if left up to the people of Cache Valley, I think they would make sure that we stay around,” Wiser said.
The Fun Park, which opened in 1998, is beloved by many community members, including couples who say they took their first date there.
Lisa Hudson was one of the more than 200 Facebook commenters who responded to the Fun Park — which stated in its initial post it’s a plea they “never wanted to make but we have to swallow our pride.”
“You shouldn’t feel bad to let the community know you need our help,” Hudson wrote. “Covid shutdowns and downturns have impacted many and there’s so much negativity going around I hope we as a community can rally around you and help you get through this!”
Wiser told the newspaper he has been pleased with the public’s reaction since the Facebook post went public.
“Whenever you do something like that, you worry that you’re going to get a negative reaction. That people are going to say, ‘We don’t care. Deal with it. Hopefully, you can make it and eventually, we’ll come back,’” Wiser said. “But, yes, I was very pleasantly surprised at just how great the people were in … coming and supporting us.”
Lynn R. Myers, a USU and Logan High School alumnus, posted on Facebook, “We need to help these guys — order a pizza, get a gift certificate. Let’s do whatever we can. We don’t want to lose these guys. This is a great business.”
Just as it has offered up gift cards and takeout options to keep business afloat, the Fun Park has also encouraged patrons to come in to the facility by showing them personnel are working to keep everyone safe.
Numerous Facebook posts show employees cleaning surfaces and wearing masks. The Fun Park stated employees and patrons are having their temperatures checked upon entry. The bowling alley is maintaining a policy of social distancing. The “soft play” area is regularly sanitized and open by reservation only.
However, many of the Fun Park’s Facebook posts don’t show customers wearing masks or adhering to social distancing.
On Wednesday, Wiser said Fun Park has signs on the door asking people to wear masks, but “we’re not going to kick them out the door if they choose not to.”
Asked if he thought there was potential that some of the Fun Park’s acitviites, including SK80s Night — which includes customers filling the roller rink — could become “super spreader” events, Wiser said employees do temperature checks at the door.
Not only that, “we warn people that it’s hard to social distance at the Fun Park just due to the nature” of activities.
“People have their own free agency; we’re a free country,” Wiser said. “We would prefer they all wore masks all the time, but we’re OK.”
Due to COVID-19, the establishment’s current hours of operation have been changed to: noon to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday (SK80s event 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Tuesdays only); and noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday.
The Fun Park is closed on Sunday.
The business’s website is http://cachevalleyfunpark.com.