Reopening Indiana: Crown Point water park welcomes visitors after COVID-19 delays

CROWN POINT, Ind. (WLS) -- A northwest Indiana water park is finally starting its season after delays due to COVID-19.

Deep River Water Park in Crown Point has reopened for the 2020 season this week.

"We're glad to be back," said Sasha Mateer, of the Lake County Parks and Recreation Department. "We're glad to be open and offer our community something to do."

Deep River set a target date for its reopening once Gov. Eric Holcomb's "Back on Track" plan advanced to Stage 4, but changes are in place at the water park.

Some of the rides remain closed, and capacity is at 50%. Customers must make online reservations, and there are no day-of ticket sales.

"Definitely a different look for us this year," Mateer said.

As one of the few water parks in the Chicago area to reopen, its customers say they're thankful. Many said they noticed the changes, which include more sanitation stations and signs encouraging social distancing. Staff members are also wearing masks.

"Feels good to finally get the kids out and get some fresh air and kind of enjoy a family day," said Anthony Flores. "At this point, I think we just have to start living our lives a little bit."

Guests are pre-screened for their health, filling out a form when they get tickets online.

Water park officials said they're prepared to close the park again if there's a big enough surge in COVID-19 cases.
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