EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — When the American Dream megamall opened in New Jersey last autumn, visitors could only gape at its unfinished signature attraction: a massive DreamWorks-themed waterpark with room for up to 5,600 bathers.
A year and a global pandemic later, Benkos Quinones, his wife and two small children had the place largely to themselves as the mall officially reopened Thursday after a six-month closure due to the coronavirus crisis.
“After everything that’s been going on, we just wanted to have some family time together,” Quinones said as his wife and two small children splashed in the waves behind him. Only a few dozen others cavorted in the cavernous space.
“Of course, I was concerned,” Quinones said about the risk of being in a public place with the virus still circulating. “We asked ourselves a lot of questions, whether we should really go forward and buy tickets to