ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The adjustment to the color-coded system is a welcome change for people waiting almost a year to get out and have some fun. Now they will finally be able to. Bernalillo County is still in the Yellow tier but under the new ‘Red to Turquoise’ framework, recreational facilities like Hinkle Family Fun Center can open their outdoor attractions at 33% capacity.
“We have two eighteen-hole miniature golf courses, bumper boats, a rock-climbing wall, bungee jump trampoline, go-karts, and then, of course, our paintball facility,” said Colleen Wyatt with Hinkle. She says right now there’s no real timeline for when they’ll be reopening because they have to bring back some of their staff, they furloughed about 100 employees at the start of the pandemic.
They also need to become New Mexico Safe Certified. Back in September, Hinkle filed a lawsuit against the state asking for compensation for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. they’re not the only ones who will now be able to operate under the yellow tier, Cliff’s Amusement Park will also be able to open at 33% capacity but their season doesn’t start until the summer.
Also under the new framework, movie theaters can open once a county enters the green tier at 25% capacity. “25 percent occupancy in an auditorium isn’t enough to make it in any movie theater. It’s just not the way we’re built,” said Matthew Baizer, chief operating officer at Flix Brewhouse.
Right now, New Mexico is the only state in the country with a blanket course on all movie theaters and Baizer says he’s glad the governor finally gave them guidance on when they may be able to reopen. The green tier would mean a county has no more than eight cases per 100,000 people and an average positivity rate of 5% over a two-week period.
Once a county enters the green level, bars and clubs can operate at 25% capacity but only outdoors. A county must enter the turquoise level before a bar or club can open up inside at 33% capacity.