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AZTEC — The Beach at Lake Farmington, a popular summer attraction, will likely not open Memorial Day weekend in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Christa Chapman, a spokeswoman for the Farmington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, said the opening of The Beach is on hold until further notice.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen as far as mass gatherings,” she said.

The city had planned to upgrade the floating play structures to create an aqua park. Those upgrades were part of $500,000 of improvements the City Council approved in February, including $125,416 for the aqua park.

“All the closures have just really thrown a wrench in our summer programs,” Chapman said.

More: Lake Farmington upgrades will include aqua park, safety infrastructure

In addition to not being able to celebrate Memorial Day weekend with the opening of The Beach, Chapman said the season opening of Bisti Bay at Brookside Park is also on hold.

More: The Four Corners area's newest water park opened in 2019

When the two water attractions open is dependent on when people will be allowed to gather in large numbers. Chapman said it may not be feasible to open those attractions if the group sizes are limited to even 50 people. The aqua park at Lake Farmington would have a capacity of 142 people and Bisti Bay has a capacity of 200 swimmers.

In addition, Chapman said the city has not hired summer staff, including lifeguards. That hiring process can take a couple of weeks and all lifeguards must also be certified with the Red Cross.

Chapman said most years the city has a certification class in March that applicants take prior to the hiring process in April. But this year that class had to be canceled due to the coronavirus.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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