For the first time in the park’s almost 60-year history, Funtown Splashtown in Saco said it will not be opening seven days a week during the summer season.
The park will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays through July and August.
“Of course, this is very disappointing, not only to you, our guests, but also very much to all of us here at the park,” Funtown Splashtown officials said.
The park said it is the result of a lack of potential team members applying for work this season. An extremely competitive job market has made it even tougher as the park attempts to fill all the positions.
“The abundance of jobs needing to be filled as businesses attempt to reopen after the COVID Summer of 2020, and the lack of willing applicants, has made staffing far more of an issue than it ever has been in the past,” officials said.
It is the largest employer of seasonal workers in the state, according to the park.
The park has raised starting wages to more than the state’s minimum wage and is offering anyone hired a Funtown Splashtown season pass for themselves and three family members or friends, according to park officials.
The park has held virtual and drive-up job fairs and reached out to local schools and chambers of commerce throughout the state to attract more applicants.
Yet even with these attempts, the park said it has been unable to secure as many local workers as needed.
“Finding enough locals has been an issue for over a decade, which is why we have used international J1 students to fill out our roster for many years. But with so many countries around the globe still being devastated by the Covid-19 virus, and international travel bans still in effect for many European nations, this pool of workers is extremely small as well,” Funtown Splashtown officials said.
The park is still planning on opening for the season on May 29.
Face covering will not be required for admittance, following in step with the state as both the outdoor mask mandate and outdoor social distancing requirements have been lifted, officials said.
Fully vaccinated Mainers will no longer need to wear face masks indoors starting on May 24, Gov. Janet Mills announced last week. The governor will also lift all capacity limits on indoor and outdoor public venues that same day.
However, when entering any retail and food locations, a face covering must be worn. This will also be true when riding the indoor ride, The Astrosphere, or entering the arcades.
With social distancing requirements removed, the park will operate at 100 percent capacity and said it will also no longer continue taking reservations.
Reservations and tickets that have already been purchased will remain valid, but now will be honored for any day that the park is open. There will be hand sanitizer dispensers located at the majority of rides and throughout the park.