Coronavirus Restrictions Cause LEGOLAND New York to Postpone July 4th Opening Till 2021
John Jordan | March 2020
GOSHEN—Days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new restrictions on construction that all but shut down private construction in New York State, LEGOLAND New York Resort announced it was postponing its planned theme park opening on July 4th until sometime in 2021.
On March 27, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced modifications to an existing executive order that temporarily shut down most major private development projects in the Hudson Valley and throughout the state. See story “Gov. Orders All Non-Essential Construction Shut Down” at RealEstateInDepth.com.
The amended restrictions shut down work on the theme park, but did not require construction on the approximately $40 million in road and bridge work adjacent to Route 17 to cease. Matt Besterman, public relations manager for LEGOLAND New York, told Real Estate In-Depth that the road infrastructure work will continue, but that work on the theme park and hotel components of the project have been shut down.
LEGOLAND New York and parent company Merlin Entertainments reported the opening postponement, which they stated in an announcement was consistent with the closure of venues and postponement of events worldwide and was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and evolving restrictions from state and local governments in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Besterman noted that the evolving Novel Coronavirus crisis was being monitored by the company, but the temporary closure of all non-essential construction by Gov. Cuomo caused the company to commence serious discussions that eventually led to the theme park opening’s postponement.
He added that the company cannot provide a firm definitive date in 2021 for the park’s opening due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Nothing is more important to us than the health, safety and security of our team, the partners we work with, and the communities we serve,” said LEGOLAND New York Resort Divisional Director Stephanie Johnson. “We are in an unprecedented situation that has affected businesses worldwide. By opening LEGOLAND New York Resort in 2021 we are building an attraction that not only meets our high standards, it also gives our guests the best possible experience.”
Resort officials said the resort still plans to hire more than 1,000 employees to staff the theme park and hotel, and all hourly employees who received an offer to work for the 2020 season will be invited to join the team in 2021.
All previously purchased annual passes or single-day tickets will be honored when the resort opens in 2021. Those who have booked vacation packages through LEGOLAND Vacations will be given the opportunity to be the first to book for the 2021 season, the company stated.
“We are grateful for the support and understanding from our guests and neighbors as we navigate the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” Johnson said. “We look forward to building unforgettable memories with our guests and their families when we open in 2021.”
Johnson said the resort will continue to closely monitor the situation and communicate any updates via social media, email and its website.