Greetings Folks –
The 2020 season was a difficult one. While Door County had relatively few positive cases early on, we experienced a dramatic surge into the thousands as visitors came to the Peninsula over the summer and fall. We looked forward to reopening our doors in 2021, but sadly, the new strains of the virus – coupled with the recommendations from the CDC and Department of Public Health – have made reopening in 2021 impossible for us to consider.
This comes as a heart-breaking decision - but until, and unless, the safety restrictions and protocols are lifted – it's in the best interest of public safety that we remain closed again for the 2021 season.
Please know – we're here for the long haul and aren't going anywhere. As soon as it's safe to do so – we'll be here to welcome you back with open arms! In the meantime, please stay safe and take good care of yourselves and others.
For those wanting a more detailed explanation, our reasoning is as follows:
1) Sanitation: One of Plum Loco's most popular attractions is our Play-Farm Village for children that has a series of child-sized buildings designed for imaginative, hands-on, interactive, role play. Each building has dozens of manipulative toys that are handled constantly by children ages 18 months -10 years of age. From plastic dishes and silverware to play food items, play veterinary equipment and tools, and various game pieces - it would be impossible to sanitize frequently touched surfaces in-between each handling (as Public Health and CDC protocols state). This would require the addition of a full-time staff member devoted to this task – and would result in an unappealing disruption of flow to the imaginative play children enjoy.
2) Social Distancing: Due to the nature of the Play-Farm Village - social distancing would be impossible. Children run from one building to another - and engage one another in interactive role play scenarios (i.e., pretending to be customers/servers in the Diner building). Not only would be difficult to allow only one child at a time within each building - it would defeat the purpose of activity - meaning customers would be paying for an experience we would not be able to provide.
3) Animal Contagion: There has been data reporting that animals are able to contract Covid - and since 50% of our facility is devoted to the petting and feeding of animals - we can't ensure our herd safety - or that of the visitors, in this regard. To disallow visitors from animal interaction - again, undermines the nature of their Plum Loco experience.
4) Reduced Customer Volume: When visitors come to Plum Loco, it's not a time-limited, in-and-out scenario. Visitors come to spend several hours at a time. Since our revenue is volume dependent - limiting or reserving access would severely deplete our revenue - while still preventing visitors on premises from enjoying the full measure of what Plum Loco has to offer. Due to the overhead expenses required for opening - it's clear that we would not generate enough income to offset our costs.
5) Face Masks/Plexiglas Shields: We have always considered safety a priority at Plum Loco - and as such, each visitor/group must engage in face-to-face training and demonstrations about how to safely pet and feed our animals prior to entering the facility. Because these instructions are provided by ticket-booth personnel - the wearing of face masks/plexiglass shields would severely reduce the efficacy of communication - especially for elderly visitors who may be hard of hearing, or for those for whom English is a second language. Any obstacle to the clarity of communication creates greater probabilities for misunderstanding and potential risk.
Note: Annual Pass holders set to expire in 2020, will be granted an extension through the same date in 2022. We thank you for your patience and understanding.