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Put-in-Bay rolls out gradual reopening plan amid coronavirus pandemic




PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio — Put-in-Bay, one of Lake Erie’s premier tourist destinations located on South Bass Island, has announced its gradual reopening plan for Summer 2020 amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In accordance with guidelines set out by Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration, the primary method of transportation to the island, Miller Ferry, will no longer be limited to essential travel and will be taking all travelers to the island.

“It may have taken a little longer than we’re used to, but our winter hiatus is finally over. We are going to get started safely with fishing, grilling out, beautiful sunrises and sunsets with family and friends and all of the things that make Put-in-Bay such a cherished vacation spot,” the Put-in-Bay Path Forward Committee said in a statement. The committee is composed of Put-in-Bay Mayor Jessica Dress, Put-in-Bay Township Chairman Matt Miller, Jet Express Owner Todd Blumensaadt, Miller Boat Line President William Market, among others.

The Jet Express will begin service next weekend, May 15. Several lodging establishments are taking reservations now and will be ready to receive guests as soon as the island is open, including the Island Club, Commodore Resort, Put-in-Bay Condos, Bird’s Nest, Victory Station, Ashley’s Island House, and A Place At The Bay.

Bars and restaurants on the island will be operating under the conditions set forth by the state, which mandate that outdoor dining can begin on May 15, and indoor dining can start on May 21, with seating plans that maintain social distancing guidelines.

Establishments such as Mr. Ed’s Bar and Grille, MIST Pool Bar, Tree Bar, Joe’s Bar, The Boardwalk, Topsy Turvey, and more plan to open in accordance with the state mandates.

The South Bass Island State Park will be open for hiking, however the park remains closed to camping at this time. Visitors can still come to enjoy the sunsets on the shore of the park.

Marinas such as Park Place, Crew’s Nest, Miller Marina, and the public docks will have docking available starting May 15.

“We are following all State of Ohio and CDC COVID guidelines. Island businesses are getting ready, bringing over cleaning supplies, PPE, and installing safeguards needed to ensure your upcoming trip to Put-in-Bay is memorable and safe,” the Put-in-Bay Path Forward Committee said.

Golf cart rentals are expected to begin on May 15. DeRivera Park public restrooms and some retail shops will also open.

“Our island community is slowly reopening Put-in-Bay. It is our promise to you to do everything we can to make your visit safe, family friendly and fun. From the moment you board the ferry, visit a retail shop, enjoy a meal, walk through our downtown, you can be confident that your health & safety is our top priority. Plan now to visit, the wait is over.,” the committee said.

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