Six Flags Hurricane Harbor to reopen this summer

  • Hurricane Harbor Water Park at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee is set to reopen this summer.

    Hurricane Harbor Water Park at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee is set to reopen this summer. Daily Herald File Photo, 2018

Updated 7/1/2020 5:14 PM

Officials at Hurricane Harbor water parks in Gurnee and Rockford have begun hiring lifeguards and other employees in preparation to open for an abbreviated summer season.

Six Flags Great America officials announced Wednesday they have received word from Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Restore Illinois team that water parks may begin opening.


Great America spokeswoman Caitlin Kepple said both water parks' opening date will be released soon.

Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee is adjacent to the Great America theme park. Both parks have been shuttered because of the pandemic.

"We're so excited to get the water park news and we're hoping that good theme park news will follow," Kepple said.

Until recently, only essential security employees have been able to access either Gurnee park. Kepple said staff members are beginning to install new safety features there and in Rockford, such as a new thermal scanning system, that will check incoming guests' body temperature and act as a touch-free metal detector.

Kepple said the water parks will allow fewer guests inside than normal. In May, theme park officials unveiled a new online reservation system, which officials say will help them enforce capacity limits.

When the reservation system begins, guests will visit and go through a process officials estimate will take five to seven minutes. Guests will select the date and time they wish to visit. Guests must also watch a brief video on social distancing and sanitation procedures. The parks' full safety procedures have yet to be announced.

This year, the company will do all of the job interview process online at, Kepple said. The park is waiving the life guard training fee, which usually costs $80 to $100, she said.

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