Calypso Valcartier Group, the Québec-based company which owns Calypso and another water theme park located in Québec, tried and failed to get an exemption from the list of businesses barred from opening as part of the Stage 3 part of Phase 2 of the Ontario economic recovery plan for the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. That list includes amusement parks and water-theme parks.
“It is with an immense heartfelt sadness that we must post today,” the company announced on the Calypso website. “Unfortunately, Calypso will not be able to open for the 2020 season. Despite our comprehensive efforts, the Ontario provincial government has not allowed the opening of water parks this summer.”
Last month park officials still hoped to get an exemption after presenting a detailed plan for COVID-19 protection for both staff and people attending the water park.
The plan had the support of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and included reducing daily attendance admissions at the park, increased sanitization practices, and strict adherence to social distancing demands. That last included shutting down certain popular rides because they presented difficulties for maintaining social distancing.
Ontario Tourism Minister Lisa McLeod explained to media that the government is following the advice of its chief medical officer to keep amusement parks and water-theme parks closed for the duration of the pandemic. The government may review the issue when all of Ontario is in Stage 3 but that will be too late for Calypso and many other theme parks whose operating season wraps up after the Labour Day weekend in September.
Calypso officials stated the company will now seek government compensation for lost revenue from the season closure.