ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - After years of planning, construction and delays, the new St. Petersburg Pier District will open 5 p.m. Monday, July 6. However, with the pandemic, things are going to be a little different than previously planned.
The original grand opening date was set for the end of May, but the big event was delayed for city officials to prepare a safer opening for visitors.
If you can't wait to check out the new pier, the important factor to know is you will need to make a reservation ahead of time, which can be done on the St. Pete Pier website.
The new pier is going to offer a little something for everyone -- sweeping 360-degree views, art installations, a rooftop bar, restaurants, and beach areas. For the kids, there's a discovery center, a wet classroom and a splash pad play area.
The rooftop bar is complete with outdoor seating and views 60 feet above sea level. Five stories below there's a restaurant and snack bar.
The $92-million project has been in the making for more than seven years. The pier sits on 26 acres, which can hold 10,000 people, but the city will only allow a few thousand people at a time. It gives people plenty of space to explore, but masks will be required for visitors to wear inside and everyone is also asked to maintain at least six feet of distance from other groups.
"What I love so much about this is there was an intention to create a place that was welcoming to everyone in the community," said Mayor Rick Kriseman. "It didn't matter where you live. It didn't matter what your income was. You can come here and experience and enjoy it and take in."
The free reservation will be good for you and a plus-one or for a family that will be good for up to six individuals; they all have to be from the same household.
Visitors will be emailed a ticket to show at the gate.
If someone has a reservation at a restaurant at the Pier, they say the reservation can be shown at the pier's gate.
PHOTO GALLERY: St. Pete's piers through the years
The city announced other precautionary measures, which include:
1. ‘Six (6) feet’ Social Distancing signage will be provided for the Marketplace and other various locations throughout the District
2. Maximum Occupancy load of ‘Four (4) persons max’ signage provided for Pier Head elevators
3. Personal hygiene and hand washing signage will be provided for Pier Head & Pavilion public restrooms
4. Pier restaurants and cafes are strongly encouraged to follow guidelines for Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
5. The city will be adhering to all CDC guidelines and recommendations as they change
6. Guests are required to wear cloth face coverings/masks where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as The Discovery Center, Restaurants, etc. In all other areas of the St. Pete Pier, the city strongly encourages visitors to wear cloth face coverings/masks.
7. The city strongly encourages guests to remain home if they are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19
8. St. Pete Pier amenities and restaurants will be in compliance with existing and future state, county, and municipal orders.
9. There will be 10 touch-free hand sanitizer stations throughout the Pier District, allowing visitors to wash their hands frequently.
LINK: Additional information about the new pier can be found here.