650 Employees Impacted Due to Financial and Operational Impacts of COVID-19
Cleveland Metroparks today announced the cancellation of many of the Park District’s summer staples including the Edgewater LIVE and Euclid Beach LIVE concert series, summer camps and transportation on the eLCee2 Water Taxi due to mandatory safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In addition, Cleveland Metroparks announced that approximately 650 employees have been affected by full or partial furloughs, salary reductions and layoffs due to the financial and operational impacts of COVID-19. Impacts include the cancellations of programs and events as well as the continued closure of educational facilities, rental facilities, restaurants including Merwin’s Wharf, Nature Shops and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Furloughed employees will continue to receive health benefits.
The cost-saving measures are in addition to many steps Cleveland Metroparks had taken in March to reduce operating expenses including suspending travel, deferring most non-grant related capital spending and implementing a temporary organization-wide hiring freeze, affecting seasonal employment for the 2020 season.
“During this difficult time, the Emerald Necklace has been a refuge for our community to safely get outdoors and take in the physical and mental health benefits that nature can provide,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman. “Unfortunately, while our parks have remained open, many of our operations that serve as revenue sources have been significantly impacted and we have had to temporarily furlough many of our dedicated employees. Our employees are what have made Cleveland Metroparks one of the top park districts in the country but, with the mandatory closures and restrictions in place due to COVID-19, we are unable to offer many of our annual summer programs and events to the community.”
Due to State of Ohio Department of Public Health guidelines to avoid mass gatherings, the Edgewater LIVE and Euclid Beach LIVE concert series are canceled for the 2020 summer season. The LIVE series, that runs each summer from May to early August, draws over 100,000 visitors annually to Cleveland’s lakefront for free live entertainment.
Public health guidelines have also required the cancellation of upcoming programs and events for the foreseeable future including Zoo, Golf and Nature Summer Camps. Guidelines have also required the continued closure of Nature Centers, Nature Shops, restaurants including Merwin’s Wharf and e55 on the lake, the Go Ape Treetop Adventure and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
All guests who registered for programs including summer camps will receive full refunds.
Cleveland Metroparks rental facilities will remain closed through September 2020. Due to high volume of rentals, guests with a rental scheduled between now and September 30, 2020 will be contacted directly as soon as possible to reschedule their event or receive a full refund.
In addition, the eLCee2 Water Taxi and Ledge Pool will remain closed for the 2020 season. The Park District will be issuing refunds on Ledge Pool season passes and swimming lessons for the 2020 season.
Cleveland Metroparks park reservations, marinas and golf courses remain open with several safety measures in place to protect guests and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Guests can learn more about ways to safely enjoy Cleveland Metroparks during this time as well as an updated list of all program, event and location impacts and closures at clevelandmetroparks.com/COVID-19
Guests can help support Cleveland Metroparks by visiting clevelandmetroparks.com/donate
and help support Cleveland Metroparks Zoo by visiting clevelandzoosociety.org
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