The first deconfinement measures announced by Edouard Philippe, Tuesday, April 28, 2020, did not reassure the owners of tourist sites including Hervé Lebel (Festyland).
Festyland, the largest amusement park in Normandy (225,000 visitors per year) was due to reopen in early April, this year with new facilities including a new place at the entrance of the park and a completely redesigned restaurant. But the park gates remained closed because of the epidemic of Covid-19.
Like many, the park team hoped to see the end of the tunnel with the announcement of a reopening date but nothing was said Tuesday April 28, 2020 by the Prime Minister, concerning the tourist sites whether museums, zoos, amusement parks, etc.
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“We do not know when we will be able to reopen and even if we will be able to reopen”, notes Hervé Lebel, owner of Festyland and vice president of Normandy Sites, the regional association which brings together 133 Norman tourist sites. This association also launched an appeal to the Normans a few days ago.
“We are shot”
But it is still necessary that the deconfinement quickly concerns these places of leisure and visits…
We are downed. The season is compromised. We fully understand the precautionary measures, but we also need to prepare for reopening.
Indeed, if Festyland as others are ready to welcome visitors with a lot of masks, protective visors, plexiglass for staff, and hydroalcoholic gel for visitors, if they are ready to manage the flows, they will still need a preparation time.
We will have to find staff. However, without a reopening date, we cannot anticipate hiring. Will we find the personnel who will want to work even with protections? We will also need to place an order to fill our refrigerators for catering. All of this will not happen overnight.
At best, in mid-June
Suffice to say that a reopening will not occur before mid-June at best. A complicated situation for Festyland as for all his colleagues. Never seen in 30 years for the Norman amusement park.
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“It is an absolute complexity …”, concludes Hervé Lebel who even raises the question of the economic usefulness of an opening in such conditions.
However Hervé Lebel still wants to believe in better days.
We are studying all possible hypotheses. If we can reopen, maybe we will have to consider entry reservations exclusively via the internet for perfect flow management..
Nevertheless, Festyland says he is ready for a reopening to secure both his staff and his customers. So that confidence returns and visitors can have fun in peace.
It remains to be seen when and if it will happen this year … In the meantime, Festy and Dina, the mascots of Festyland are impatient …