Tourism, movies, bowling: Economic reopening beginning to pick up steam

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state is opening up more business segments, especially tourism-related businesses and state facilities, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Friday during his daily briefing.

In addition, the state saw a jump in new cases, but much of the increase was tied to the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, where 63 new cases were confirmed and reported Thursday but didn’t appear in the state numbers until Friday.

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In addition to opening up tourist attractions, the state has posted guidelines for a variety of additional businesses, including nail salons, massage therapy, cosmetology centers, tanning salons and tattoo parlors which open at the end of this month.

The tourist attractions opening June 1 include lodging, cabins, golf course, the Natural Bridge campground and other facilities. Residents can go to  https://parks.ky.gov/  and start booking reservations May 19.

The ones not opening are Lake Cumberland, Lake Barkley, Buckhorn Lake and Blue Lick Battlefield which still are being set aside for medical facilities in case they are needed for a surge.



Amusement parks aren’t included and likely won’t be until July.

“We’ve got to try to keep this virus down. It’s not about economic impact, it’s about finding the right lane to protect lives … it’s moderation that’s going to allow us to stay open and not have to shur down,” he said of those facilities and other events such as county fairs.

The June 1 and June 11 state park openings do not include pools and playgrounds because of the difficulty enforcing social distancing among children.

Movie theaters, bowling alleys, and fitness centers also will be able to open on June 1, the governor said.

The details and information are available on www.kycovid19.ky.gov.

The Kentucky Horse Park and Otter Creek campgrounds will open June 11.

“Originally we didn’t want to have to close campgrounds, but we had to because people wouldn’t abide by social distancing and not gathering in groups,” Beshear said.

“We think we can do it responsibly now. Tourism is an incredibly important business in Kentucky. We believe we can do this safely and encourage people to travel in state and enjoy a vacation this summer,” the governor continued.

Also allowed June 1 will be fishing tournaments, dirt-tracking auto racing, and aquatics centers that are are for exercise with lap pools.

Beshear distinguished aquatics centers from pools, saying, “It is just one of those difficult decisions we are having to make until we can get it figured out…aquatics centers are very different from 100 kids in a pool.”

The governor announced 252 new cases in the state, that included the 63 previously announced at the Federal Medical Center. Since the outbreak began, the state has had 7,444 cases. Of those 2,739 have recovered.

With at least 127, 689 tests, the state’s rate of positive results continues to decline.

The state also has had four deaths, including two at the federal prison (see related story). Another was in Jefferson County and one in Campbell County.

The state has record 332 deaths.

Beshear continued to stress some of the restrictions still in place are guided toward getting kids back in school in the fall.

“We want to get our kids back in school, that is one of our priorities. So we have to make sure things are safe,” he stated.