Jellystone Park closes some amenities to enforce social distancing this holiday weekend

Jellystone Park in Luray
Jellystone Park in Luray(WHSV)
Published: May. 24, 2020 at 5:58 PM EDT
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Short-term camping operations reopened during Phase 1 of the "Forward Virginia" plan just in time to welcome guests

back for Memorial Day weekend.

After weeks of being cooped up at home, some families are spending their holiday weekend at Jellystone Park in Luray.

"We're about a quarter to half full this weekend and we have reservations rolling in, so we still have plenty more to fill, but we're seeing people coming out, relaxing with their families and just experiencing the outdoors, and right now camping is one of the safest things they can do," Andrea Mewhinney, the park's assistant general manager, said.

Mewhinney said once their campground received approval to reopen the campground beginning May 15, reservations quickly began rolling in, but the park isn't as full as in previous Memorial Day weekends.

"Last year [Jellystone Park was] full," Mewhinney said. "They were booked to capacity, so this year has definitely been [fewer] people, but we want to keep the safe distancing."

Mewhinney said they've closed the pool, laser tag, and arcade, but she says guests have been compliant with their precautions.

Activities and amenities still allowed are fishing, gem mining, horseshoes, mini-golf, exploring the campsite and hiking paths, and other activities in camper's designated camping site.

"They're super understanding," Mewhinney said. "They're just ready to get out, enjoy the outdoors and do something other than staying at home."

Mewhinney said park staff are required to wear face masks and they have increased their cleaning protocols around the campgrounds.

And Christopher Williams, a Jellystone Park first-timer, said he feels safe at the campground.

"Social distancing has been great here, there's plenty of room for everyone to get around, a nice campground and we've really enjoyed it," Williams said. "We've had a great time. Great to get back out again."

He said he and his family have been fishing, riding around the campgrounds on their golf cart, and meeting some new people.

"Get out a little bit during the COVID-19 [pandemic] and enjoy ourselves and get to see people and spend time [together] again," Williams said.

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