While much of South Carolina is reopening, the immediate future of Carowinds is up in the air; that’s because the theme park is in both North and South Carolina.
Even though Carowinds’ technical address is in North Carolina, the park sits right on the border with a portion of it in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Its unique location begs the question. “what state guidelines should the park follow?”
Perhaps no one wants Carowinds to open more than Chauvis Yarbrough.
“My daughter, she’s supposed to work there,” Yarbrough, “but we waiting on them to open back up.”
It’ll be Yarbrough’s daughter’s very first job, but like many others, she’s waiting for them to reopen.
“She wants to go to work because it’s a good experience,” he said, “and I want her to go because then I can go up there myself, you know?”
Despite that, Yarbrough doesn’t think it’s a good time for the park to reopen.
“I think they should wait,” he said, “because they’re right here on the border: South Carolina, North Carolina at the same time.”
It seems Carowinds and Mecklenburg County officials are trying to figure out what’s best for the park and health of Carolinians. They discussed the topic during Monday’s Mecklenburg County business roundtable discussion.
“I had a conversation with the GM of Carowinds,” said Mohammad Jenatian, President at Greater Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance, “and he would like to know what the future holds for them.”
County Manager, Dena Diorio said, “You know, South Carolina’s going to let them open, but North Carolina won’t,” she continued, “I think it does create some issues that wouldn’t apply to many, or all other businesses, so we can do some follow up work on that and see what we can find out.”
Carowinds officials said they’re in constant contact with state and federal governments, and will reopen as soon as it’s safe to do so. They added they hope to have more information as they get closer to opening back up.
Meanwhile, people on different sides of the border expressed different opinions on the matter.
“Opening up Carowinds regardless of what side of the border; it’s going to put a lot of the kids and the youth at risk,” said North Carolina resident Twayne Goodwin. “That’s my main concern,” he said.
“That’s a good question, honestly,” said South Carolina resident Eddie Evans. “I mean, I guess I’m the opinion that I think they should go ahead and open,” he continued, “what’s going to happen is going to happen.”
Mecklenburg County leaders say this sounds more like a “phase three” option when North Carolina can have more mass gatherings, but South Carolina is reopening at a quicker pace than North Carolina.