TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Holiday’s on the River at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater initially closed temporarily after being open for only 7 days. Tuesday, the city announced the temporary closure that started on December 3 will now run through the entire season, effectively shutting it down.
“The decision to close was not taken lightly. We had a lot of discussion on it. But we felt in the best interest to protect the community, protect the employees and protect the community itself was to go ahead and close it for the season,” Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Chief Randy Smith said.
In early December, Mayor Walt Maddox cited the number of city employees affected by coronavirus as the reason the city decided on a temporary shutdown. Chief Smith is also a member of Tuscaloosa Incident Command. He called recent coronavirus numbers that they looked at troubling and a key reason for the decision to close Holidays on the River.
“We’ve watched the numbers in Tuscaloosa County in the last 14 days. We’ve grown over more than 2,400 cases. Just yesterday I believe it was 255. 159 I think were positive cases with approximately 55 presumptive cases,” Smith added.
The city budgeted more than $188,000 in expenses to put on Holidays on the River. People who paid ahead of time for skating events on the ice rink will get refunds.
It’s not yet clear how much this could cost the city.