Palace Playland amusement park in Old Orchard Beach opens arcade July 1. The venue has instituted a variety of new safety measures. Courtesy photo

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — One of the summer highlights for local and visiting children to the area is going on the amusement rides and playing arcade games at Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach. Due to state restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic the amusement park’s opening was put on hold. However, Palace Playland announced it was to open its arcade July 1. The amusement park hopes to open more fully later this summer.

“We are currently working towards a limited opening, starting with our Arcade on Wednesday July 1!” according to the Palace Playland Facebook page. “We’ve been hard at work preparing, making modifications, and creating new procedures just waiting for the green light.”

The Facebook post notes operations will be different from past years.

“Your time here at Palace Playland, and the use of our facilities is going to look a lot different,” the post states. “Due to the current restrictions still in place by the State of Maine, the operation of the park and games is far from typical.”

For instance, the Facebook post states, “At this time we feel that it is not fair to our customers to offer passes to the Rides due to the limited offerings we are starting with, so our ticketing options will have changed.”

In addition, according to a Palace Playland press release, “over the winter we took our Arcade to the next level and installed a cashless card system. Now it’s easier than ever to play all the redemption and video games you love with just a tap. Load your own personal Game Card at any of our Self-Service Stations, head over to your favorite game, tap your card on the reader and play, it’s that simple. All the points you win are automatically loaded to your card.” When redeeming prizes, points will automatically be deducted.

The amusement  park hopes to open fully later this summer.

Palace Playland to open arcade July 1. Hopes to open more fully as state restrictions due to coronavirus are lifted. Tammy Wells Photo

“As state restrictions are lifted, and once we feel it is safe, we will start to add more rides to our operation,” according to the post.

The amusement park has instituted a variety of safeguards due to the pandemic according to the press release, such as creating designated entrances and exits and spacious walkways to aid with social distancing; the arcade has overhead doors on three sides of the building that are open to maintain constant air flow; attendants will be located at the entrances to monitor and track attendance numbers; there will be arcade employees designated for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and game pieces; no-contact payment options are encouraged; clear guards have been installed around the entire prize counter and in front of the cashier; and there is a dedicated exhaust system constantly moving air out of the building and no recycled air.

The press release notes that there is a 50 -person capacity in each designated area — state restrictions currently limit public gatherings to no more than 50 people; face coverings are mandatory and required for all customers, except for those 2 years of age or younger; when waiting at the prize counter for an available attendant to redeem points, customers are to wait on a designated socially distanced spot marked on the floor; people should utilize hand sanitizer stations located throughout the arcade; and maintain social distancing practices when coming into contact with other customers that are not in their immediate party.

Those who cannot, or refuse, to follow the guidelines, will not be allowed on the premises, according to the press release.

In getting ready for the partial opening, the amusement park is looking for workers for a variety of positions, from arcade cashiers, to ride operators and janitorial staff. Both part-time and full-time positions are available.

People can apply for jobs on the Palace Playland Facebook page.

“We’ll have more information and details available in the coming days, so stay tuned for more updates! ” the amusement park states on its Facebook page. “We thank you for your continued support, and we’re looking forward to making memories with you and your families here in Old Orchard Beach this summer!”

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