Lazy 5 Ranch received state approval to remain open

Published 12:01 am Sunday, April 19, 2020

By Shavonne Potts

MOORESVILLE — Lazy 5 Ranch, a popular destination for families, has remained open despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to its website and Rowan officials.

That’s because of an appeal to the state.

The exotic animal park, located at 15100 Mooresville Road, has remained open for drive-thru services only. According to its website, the only reason a customer would need to exit their vehicles is to use the restroom. The park said it is following social distancing requirements set forth by the state.

The staff, according to its website, is using hand sanitizer after each customer and cleaning high-touched surfaces. In addition, feed buckets are being cleaned after every use and restrooms are being disinfected every 20 minutes.

Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten said during a community leader’s meeting this week that, although he felt everyone who traveled to the park was a “non-essential traveler,” he wouldn’t arrest citizens at a business that had been told by the state they are essential.

It’s not clear how many people have traveled to the facility. However, according to the park’s social media page, they were nearing capacity around noon on Saturday. Visitors also noted they’d traveled hours to attend the park.

Aattempts to obtain a comment from Lazy 5 Ranch were unsuccessful.

Rowan officials in a statement this week addressed concerns of what businesses are considered essential. Based on Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order 121, there are 30 different business classifications that are deemed essential.

The stipulation is, “businesses, not-for-profit organizations or educational institutions that conduct operations while maintaining social distancing requirements between and among its employees and customers except at the point of sale or purchase,” may be deemed essential.

Rowan County Emergency Services Chief Chris Soliz said he believes this has caused confusion for some residents and that the county believes it is everyone’s responsibility to adhere to the stay-at-home section of the executive order.

“Staying at home is how we end the cycle of community spread and flatten the curve. The quicker we achieve this, the quicker we can once again support local business in person. Short-term sacrifices will help ensure our local economy rebounds faster and healthier,” Soliz said.