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September 23, 2021

Boardwalk to reopen on a limited basis

SANTA CRUZ—The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will become the first amusement park in California to reopen after Covid-19 restrictions shuttered them statewide earlier this year, Boardwalk spokesman Kris Reyes said.

Rides such as the famous Giant Dipper, which have sat dormant for months, will once again resume their roaring, whirring and spinning. 

Boardwalk officials decided in early March to shut down the rides after Covid-19 began spreading around the world.

The reopening came after state health officials moved Santa Cruz County to the less-restrictive Tier 3, or Orange Tier, of Covid restrictions, meaning many businesses could resume and increase their operations.

But the news came with caveats: only Santa Cruz County residents will be able to access the ride area, and they must make a reservation for one of two, 2-hour sessions. Tickets cost $25, and only 500 people per session will be allowed.

This is the first time in the Boardwalk’s 113-year history that it has charged admission and restricted access, Reyes said.

But there is good news for those who live outside county borders, Reyes said: the food vendors, shops and some outdoor games will remain open to the public, as will the miniature golf course in Neptune’s Kingdom and Boardwalk Bowl.

Rides will operate on weekends only, although public sections of the Boardwalk will remain open daily. They will open to people from outside the county when the County moves from Tier 3 to Tier 4, Reyes said.

Reservations are required to enter the ride area. It is open for two sessions from 12 to 2pm and 3 to 5pm. 

Tickets are $25, and guests will receive a 25-point MyBoardwalk card good for rides and games. Rides cost from 4-7 points.

Season Pass Members with a Santa Cruz County zip code will receive free admission and rides, but reservations are required. 

All guests inside the dedicated ride area will undergo a Covid-19 health screening, and have their temperature checked before entering the ride area. 

All areas of the Boardwalk, Neptune’s Kingdom and Boardwalk Bowl will be following new health and safety protocols, including requiring masks.

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