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New Mexico

Borderland Memorial Day comes with no water parks or Elephant Butte this year

ANTHONY, Texas-- Memorial Day is often considered the 'unofficial start' of summer. Folks in the borderland Flock to Wet-N-Wild Waterworld and local parks however, that wont be happening this year. The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak has already started to hit the Anthony amusement park.

"Our sales just went flat before that March, April, you know its usually when people are buying their season passes, planning their birthday parties," said Chandra Edwards-Cottingham, the president of Wet-N-Wild.

The water park will not be reopening in time for Memorial Day but there is still hope it will be reopening before the end of May. In order for that to happen Texas Gov. Greg Abbott would have to give to go-ahead. Even when the park does reopen, folks should expect to see the park open at less than 25% capacity, and attendees will be asked to wear a mask.

"Get to the top of the ride, have the lifeguard get you set up in your raft, be able to put the mask down. It's lightweight water repellent so it won’t get in your way when you are on the slide or in the water, and then as soon as you get out of the water you can put it back on again," Edwards-Cottingham explained.

This Memorial Day weekend will also will also prevent El Pasoans from making their ways to parks, including the popular Ascarate Park. The County of El Paso has closed down the park, just like it did on Mother's Day, to dissuade El Pasoans from gathering there.

El Pasoans are also asked to keep away from Elephant Butte Reservoir in southern New Mexico. The popular swimming location will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday weekend per New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

"A couple weeks ago, I was asked if I would help put out some press or some acknowledgement discouraging El Pasoans from going to Elephant Butte Lake. I agreed to do that," El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said.

The Village of Ruidoso in southern New Meixco, will be operating their businesses at a limited capacity and the Ruidoso Derby will be running on Sunday without any fans in the stands. Business owners are optimistic the holiday will bring with it the opportunity to boost business a little.

"Tourism is the lifeblood for our community and we say that we live it, we breathe it. Every single time we are so grateful for our tourists to come in. We’ve seen about an 80% dip in our tourism economy, but we are starting to see our lodging start to come back and climb on out of that. So, we are very excited about the prospect of what the re-opening phase looks like in New Mexico,” said Justin Huffmon, director of tourism for Ruidoso.

El Paso / Lifestyle / News

JC Navarrete

El Paso native JC Navarrete co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend newscasts and reports during the week.


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