MISSION VALLEY, Calif. – iFLY Indoor Skydiving is cleared for liftoff, reopening for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visitors flocked to the attraction Thursday with many remarking how much they’ve missed it. Before the pandemic hit, Celeste Holthaus was a regular at iFLY, typically coming twice a week.
In her first flight back, Holthaus said her biggest concern was safely landing after so much time away.
“I don’t think I missed anything as far as my skills — I’m just excited,” she said. “It’s just so much fun.”
With the reopening comes a new set of health and safety procedures. They include allowing customers complete liability waivers online, touchless temperature readings for anyone entering the building and contact-free check-in. If a customer registers a temperature above 100 degrees, they’ll be asked to reschedule their flight; if an employee does, they’ll have to leave.
Sean Callahan, the attraction’s assistant general manager, said iFLY now has a face mask policy, requiring everyone in the building wear a face covering the entire time they’re in the building.
But Callahan said the top priority always has been about giving customers their “wings” in a safe and reliable space.
“This is a fun experience for all ages,” he said. “It’s a fun experience for everybody really, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure everybody stays healthy and safe.”
Also new are markings on the floor to help with social distancing. Additionally, all equipment such as helmets, goggles and flight suits are being sanitized after every use.
These new safety practices are comforting for a couple of first-timers.
“It was fun to get out and do something different after being stuck at home and being able to fly was great,” Arthur Greassle said.
“It was really cool to feel like you were floating and do it,” Russel Martin said. “Even an old guy like me can get up a little bit that was fun and when we got to do the high fly they took us way up, there was a little anxiety at first because what goes up must come down and I’m think how is the coming down part going to work.”