STANHOPE, NJ – Wild West City, New Jersey’s cowboy and wild west themed park is reopening this weekend. Since Wild West City is not your average amusement park with rides, it can open ahead of others with rides.
“We are super excited to announce our opening for our 64th season! We have modified your experience in town for your safety following the CDC guideline for covid-19,” the company said. “Online Ticketing will be available and announced tomorrow as we are also in the process of updating our website with more information regarding opening.”
According to the company, Wild West City is a recreation of 1800’s Dodge City.
In 1956, the American Foundation for the Preservation of the Old West purchased a sizable tract of land in Byram Township, New Jersey, just north of Netcong, and started construction of a replica western town. An architect was commissioned to fly out to Dodge City, Kansas to dimension the actual layout of the town so it would be historically accurate.
Wild West City stands as one of the last examples of post-war tourist culture in the Skylands region of New Jersey.
This week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy hailed the return and reopening of amusement parks across New Jersey. For weeks, the amusement park industry has been looking for answers as reopening seemed to be getting pushed off by the governor, even as the traditional Memorial Day Weekend kick off passed.
According to the state, outdoor amusement parks and water parks will be able to reopen next Thursday, July 2.
The directive from the Governor includes rides on boardwalks and in amusement parks. Murphy said ride operates will need to follow specific guidance from the state to better protect their customers and employees. Those guidelines are currently being finalized and will be forthcoming.
The Governor anticipated that park attendance will be kept at first to 50% of listed capacity, and that face coverings will be required of all staff and of attendees, where they are practicable. Strict hygiene protocols should also be fully anticipated.
Rides will need to be configured to ensure six feet distance between groups and must be frequently sanitized. Distance markers must be placed at the line so those waiting for rides are six feet apart.
“None of that should surprise anybody, right?” Murphy asked. “Capacity constraints, face coverings, heightened hygiene, social distancing, those are now, you should expect, folks, those are part of the norm going forward.”
Murphy said the opening was to allow for families to have a safe and healthy fourth of July weekend.
“But with next week’s July 4 holiday weekend rapidly approaching and with families rightfully looking for ways to enjoy their time off together,” Murphy said. “We wanted to make it known that yes, the rides will be in operation. But moreover, we want everyone to enjoy their time together responsibly.”