Fright Ride Open with COVID Precautions

By Ashlend Laparra

Fright Ride, a Halloween experience, is open this month and some College of Southern Nevada students are excited to go although precautions are in place to stay safe during COVID-19.  

The Ride, from the creators of Fright Dome— which closed a couple years ago— designed a new socially distanced haunted-house experience in a 75,000-square-feet event facility in downtown Las Vegas. Transformed into a research lab where subjects board transport vehicles and take part in a fear diagnosis, subjects will traverse Doctor Craven’s secret corridors and face their worst nightmares.

“For more than 15 years Fright Dome called Las Vegas home, being recognized annually as one of the best haunted attractions in the world,” wrote Jason Egan, on the event’s website. “We had begun planning its resurgence when we saw what was happening around the world with Halloween attractions shutting down due to the pandemic. Fright Ride will bring fans the same level of horror-filled entertainment that they experienced at Fright Dome but in a socially distanced environment specifically tailored to COVID-19 protocols.”

Fright Ride will follow strict guidelines to create a safe event. According to its website all groups are kept 6-feet apart upon arrival. It will also be limited to six people per appointment and everyone gets their temperatures checked before entering. Masks are required for visitors and employees.

According to Art Little, CSN health science professor, the difficulty with events like this is that organizers have good intentions but it’s hard to execute them. They come up with all these safeguards but often have difficulty enforcing the guidelines and being proactive. “Young people want to socialize. You can have all the best intentions but what matters is how you carry it out.”

Little warns that one of the most important things we can do is wear an effective mask. Ineffective masks such as gator masks are worse than not wearing anything. When someone coughs or sneezes into a gator mask it ejects the air and can take the virus airborne if that person has COVID-19. He admits that social distancing and the 6-feet rule are not quite as effective as health experts had hoped. This makes wearing masks, face shields and safety glasses more important than ever before, he noted.

Joe Vasquez, a CSN student who is considering going to Fright Ride, thinks there can be a balance between having fun and being safe. “I think practicing social distancing and finding a way to do that in that environment is great.”

Kevin Jorgensen, a CSN student who went to Fright Ride on opening week, said he felt completely safe. “Me and my girlfriend went; we had a great time. Everything was completely socially distanced including the line to get in. I’ve been bored out of my mind all year. It was so fun and scary.”

Despite the fun, Little is skeptical about the event though he recognizes many students will attend this October. “Be careful. Limit your group of friends and know what they are doing. You are not just breathing what your friend is breathing. You are breathing what your friend’s friend is breathing.”

Fright Ride is a reservation-only event. All tickets must be purchased online in advance through its website. Tickets are not sold on site. All guests are required to bring their valid identifications, credit cards they used to pay for their tickets and masks. General admission tickets cost $34.99 and VIP admission is $44.99. For more information about this event visit https://frightride.com/.

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