SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Over the past three months, most of the events and activities Utahns are accustomed to have either been canceled or postponed. Due to risk or coming in close contact with others who may be carrying the coronavirus, physical distancing has kept individuals in quarantine and away from large crowds.
As states around the country begin to slowly ease COVID-19-related restrictions, in Utah many are starting to see what our new normal will look like with businesses and industries trying to get back to serving the community.
In efforts to offer a break from dealing with the stress and thoughts related to COVID-19, one of the country’s scariest haunted attractions, Salt Lake City’s Fear Factory will proceed with its annual Halfway to Halloween event.
For those who may have never been to Fear Factory, it’s a six-building facility in downtown Salt Lake City. The haunt features a post-apocalyptic setting with underground tunnels, towers, mazes and two of the largest indoor slides in North America. Fear Factory General Manager Spencer Terry told ABC4 “we do have two new areas that we’ve built this year.” Without revealing too much information Terry said it’s a really cool cemetery facade. Fear Factory has also deployed projections. “We’re really looking at ways we can scare within that six-foot range, but not with an actual actor” said Terry.
Fear Factory will open its doors from Friday May 29, through May 30, but not without some very strict guidelines. “The health and well-being of our guests is our top priority and we’re taking every precaution to ensure that attendees will have fun in a safe and secure environment” said Rob Dunfield, Fear Factory Founder and COO.
Fear Factory has implemented the following safety precautions for the annual event:
- Mandatory social distancing of 6-8 feet while waiting in outdoor lines
- Additional hand sanitizing stations throughout the haunt.
- Temperatures of the Fear Factory’s entire staff will be taken prior to entering the property. Any staff member with a temperature over 100°F will be sent home and advised to seek medical advice.
- Concessions and rides will NOT be open.
- The Fear Factory will have dedicated staff to regularly disinfect high touch surfaces such as hand rails and restrooms during the event.
- High risk individuals may enter the property during the first 15 minutes of opening time.
- The Touch of Fear add on option will NOT be available.
“For this event specifically, we are not going to let folks just walk in and buy tickets, all of the ticketing windows are closed” Terry told ABC4. Those wanting to take part in the experience must purchase tickets before arriving at fearfactoryslc.com.
The haunted attraction has developed a seven-page Contingency and Safety Plan and will be used during Halfway to Halloween as well as the 2020 Halloween Season. The plan was created with World Health Organizations guidelines and federal, state and local government recommendations for operating a public venue under new COVID-19 circumstances.
Terry said, “although fear factory does strongly recommend customers wear a mask, they are no requiring it at this point. However, we are providing lots of hand sanitizer as well as gloves for those wanting to wear them, a free of charge.”
While the factory had to drastically reduce its occupancy load which allows the haunt have less people on the property but it also allows the attraction to control time flow much better ultimately offering a safer experience for the customer and fear factory staff.
Terry said, “We’re proud to be the world’s first haunted house opening up in post quarantine during the pandemic, and we’re making sure we do everything we can to stay safe.”
With so much happening in the world and even with states starting to return back to some sort of normalcy safety remains at the top of importance, but entertainment is also important.
“There’s nothing better than walking out of a haunted house, and thinking if I can get thru that, I can survive a little longer in this pandemic” added Terry.
Can’t make it for Halfway to Halloween? Fear Factory opens for its regular fall season beginning in September.