Sea Life Park prepares to welcome guests for the first time in nearly a year

Sea Life Park prepares to welcome guests for the first time in nearly a year

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sea Life Park will reopen this Saturday after being shut down for nearly a year.

Sea Life Park shut down March 17, 2020 as the global pandemic closed in on Hawaii. Two-thirds of its staff was furloughed and the rest stayed on for animal care and maintenance.

On Monday, staff went through a rehearsal for their dolphin shows with Laka, Kai Makani and Nani as they prepared to welcome guests back.

There’s also a new insiders tour, reef and dolphin encounters and table seating for luau.

“We’re really excited to make this back in again. It’s been really nice to get a lot of our employees back this week,” said general manager Valerie King.

“We have a lot of new great programs starting up including our new tours, our special animal shark tour. People can join us and see our new baby dolphin that was born during COVID,” she added.

Throughout the park, there are new pandemic protocols for everyone’s safety, including limited capacity and seating, screening, social distancing and mandatory masks.

“A big part of us being able to open safely for employees as well as our guests, we’ve implemented a COVID-19 policy so that everyone here, our team is trained up and good to go,” said Steve Chang, human resources manager and safety officer.

“The guests that are experiencing the interactive programs, we actually provide a face covering for them,” he added.

In addition to bringing back employees, Sea Life Park is hiring for more than a dozen positions. A variety of jobs include customer service, aquarists, housekeeping and food service.

Sea Life Park will be doing a phased opening beginning on weekends only. Managers say they hope to return to a more regular schedule by summer.

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