One of the state’s top tourist attractions will soon begin reopening its doors after closing for eight months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Following Navy Pier’s longest closure in recent history, we are anxious to reopen our spaces and safely welcome guests back to the Pier,” said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner in a statement.
Navy Pier, which temporarily closed after Labor Day to curtail the financial impact of the pandemic, will welcome the public back to select outdoor spaces and attractions starting April 30.
“We recognize the critical role Navy Pier, as a key economic driver and cultural anchor for the city and state, plays in leading our community out of the devastation from the pandemic,” Gardner said. “With mass vaccination rollouts now underway, we are eager to help guests safely reconnect to Chicago and its most treasured experiences, and remain committed to helping revive the city and region.”
The initial phase of reopening applies to Navy Pier parking garages, Polk Bros Park, Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion, the North and South docks, East End Plaza and Pier Park, including select rides and attractions.
Tour boats, cruises, the new Sable hotel and select restaurants will also reopen with limited capacity per government regulations, according to officials.
Face masks must be worn at all times at Navy Pier, and guests keep a distance of 6 feet from people who aren’t part of their group. To encourage social distancing, Navy Pier has installed signs and will have designated ambassadors to canvass the grounds and remind guests to practice physical distancing.
Groups of more than 10 people are strictly prohibited, according to officials, who say those in violation will be subject to removal from Navy Pier.
Navy Pier will implement a pilot program to monitor guest volume and traffic across the Pier and alert staff members when a particular space is reaching its zone capacity. Staff members would then make adjustments to ensure social distancing practices and other safety protocols are maintained, according to officials.
More than 90 hand sanitizer stations have been set up throughout Navy Pier, which is using an electrostatic anti-microbial spray treatment on all rides and sanitizing high-touch, common surface areas and attractions after each use with a disinfectant that’s on par with those used in health care facilities.
To celebrate its reopening, Navy Pier will host a special 10-minute fireworks show every Saturday, starting May 1 until Memorial Day weekend with the first show dedicated to health care professionals and front-line workers.
Among the restaurants and attractions reopening April 30 are Billy Goat Tavern, Giordano’s, Harry Caray’s Tavern, Margaritaville, Odyssey, Offshore Rooftop and Bar, Shoreline Sightseeing and Seadog.
The iconic Centennial Wheel, Pepsi Wave Swinger and Carousel will resume operations in Pier Park starting April 30. The opening of new rides will follow in the coming weeks, while the rest of Navy Pier, including indoor spaces and retail shops, will reopen sometime in May, according to officials.
Navy Pier’s full reopening date will be determined based on state and city guidance.
Navy Pier hours of operation upon reopening will be 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Hours may vary per establishment, according to officials.
Contact Kristen Thometz: @kristenthometz | (773) 509-5452 | [email protected]