MESA, Ariz. - May 1 marked the opening day for Salt River Tubing after prematurely closing last year, and visitors are understandably excited for a bit of rest and relaxation.
"It's tubing time!" laughed Lynda Breault with Salt River Tubing.
Last year's shortened season was a test run of sorts for today's opening day madness.
That was when they first instituted mask policies, and they have to be on unless you're on the water.
"We were trying to keep everyone as safe as possible," Breault. "They had a blast and we want them to come back this year."
And make sure to clean up after yourself, she said.
"We want to have Arizona tubers show America we can do this right," Breault said. "We can recreate responsibly in the lower Salt River."
There are a number of safety measures put in place for staff and visitors, including:
- Requiring employees to wear face mask and gloves
- Daily temperature checks for employees
- Limiting shuttle buses to 20 people per bus
- Disinfecting shuttle buses every 24 hours
- Social distancing measure between guests waiting for tube rental
In addition, officials say visitors are required to wear a mask while renting a tube, taking a shuttle to and from the Salt River, and while they are returning the tubes they rented.
Excitement, anticipation for visitors
Olivia Jancosko's group of friends were the first in line.
"Early bird gets the worm," Jancosko said. "I always say if you're not 10 minutes early you're late. So I came and hour and a half early."
A day floating in the water means a little more to them - they're all nurses and doctors and have seen the worst that COVID-19 brought.
"One hundred percent it's a good break," said Sheldon Rao.
Sheldon and Asad Faruqi came from Pittsburgh to see Olivia and her friend Megan.
"We didn't really do anything for the past year, so it's great to get out now that a lot of people are vaccinated as well, so that really helps as well," said Faruqi. "So yes, it's an exciting opportunity."
That's why people from across America —- like Pittsburgh —- come to do this.
"Float in the water," Faruqi said. "Hang out with friends. Eat, drink. Have a good time."
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