Scary Acres reopens for Fall 2020 with new COVID-19 guidelines

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Zach Gilbert
NEWS EDITOR

Scary Acres, one of Omaha’s most popular haunted attractions, opens for the fall with new COVID-19 guidelines. Photo courtesy of Omaha World Herald.

After seeking out recommendations and advice from other local haunted attractions and the health department, Omaha’s Scary Acres was able to plan an opening for the Fall 2020 season in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The safety of our guests and staff is of the utmost importance to us,” Scary Acres said in a statement released on their website. “Our hope, as we are committed to providing a safe and fun family event for the community, is that you are able to once again enjoy your annual trip to Scary Acres this season, with your family and friends. While your visit may look different than it has historically, we intend to entertain you and will strive as always to exceed your expectations.”

Ahead of its Sept. 18 re-opening, Scary Acres took many steps to minimize the COVID-19 risks at their park. Most notably, the park strongly recommends that all guests wear masks when it is difficult to maintain a 6-foot distance, but especially when walking through indoor attractions.

The park will also provide masks to guests upon request, free of charge. They can be at retrieved at any ticket booth, the merchandise booth or the front entrance of each attraction.

To meet social distancing standards, attendants at all ticket booths, the merchandise booth and the concession booth will be stationed behind plexi-glass window shields. In addition, ticket takers at each attraction entrance will be wearing face masks or face shields.

In each attraction, actors will also be required to wear masks or facial coverings when they are not able to maintain a physical 6-foot distance from guests. These masks/facial coverings will be incorporated into each actor’s costume.

Furthermore, all staff members will be screened prior to entering the park. As a part of this screening, staff members will have their temperature taken and be asked questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms and potential exposure.

To decrease the spread of germs, Scary Acres will be implementing specific cleaning and sanitation schedules for popular “touch points,” such as restroom handles and countertops. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be located by all ticket booths, the merchandise booth and the concession booth.

Groups entering attractions will be limited to four to six individuals, a reduction from the usual six to eight people allowed in at a time. Ticket takers at each attraction entrance will be allowing for longer space between each group as well, so that groups remain properly distanced from one another. Moreover, there will be signage throughout the park to assure that social distancing is maintained by groups waiting in line.

Scary Acres will also be monitoring the total number of guests allowed into the park as a whole. The park anticipates that this will only become an issue on peak evenings, but they do recommend attending on traditionally slower nights, if possible.

“Typically our busiest nights are Fridays and Saturdays, mid-October,” Scary Acres stated on their website. “Sunday through Thursday are historically slower evenings. We are running great promotional deals for 2020, offering discounted admission tickets Sunday through Thursday.”

Sundays are “Family Nights,” as the park will offer special discounts to families on these days. Tuesdays are labeled as “Twisted Tuesdays,” when the park offers a combo pass (which grants access to all three attractions) for $22 as opposed to its usual price of $25, while Wednesdays are “Student Nights,” when only students are eligible to receive a $3 discount on a combo pass.

Canned food and military discounts will be accepted Sunday through Thursday, but they cannot be combined with any other offers. These discounts are not accepted on Friday and Saturday. The park will also remain closed on Mondays.

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