The Statue of Liberty closed for visitors in March 2020 and while parts of the monument have gradually opened over the last 2 years, the crown has remained closed. Now, the crown part of the statue is finally reopening for visitors, a spokesperson confirmed for CNN.
A soft reopening is being planned for the 136th anniversary of the statue’s dedication, in 1886, for late October, to allow time for the new employees to get acquainted to the crown-specific safety and security protocols, said Jerry Willis, a spokesperson for Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island.
We had to hire people and get them up to speed to effectively run crown operations.Jerry Willis, spokesperson Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island
The newly hired staff was supposed to be training with experienced tour guides already, but several factors got in the way, delaying the reopening. Willie highlighted that it was not just one thing that impeded a sooner reopening, but rather a cumulation of issues.
Firstly, Covid-19 restrictions had to be lifted at city, state and federal level for the crown to reopen, as the space up there does not allow for a lot of people at a time. Secondly, it has been particularly difficult to find new staff to acclimate the influx of visitors, as Willie pointed out that public demand for access to the crown has always been high.
Now that the top of the monument is once again opened for visitors, the National Park Service is warning tourists that only the Statue City Cruises ferry service is authorized by the National Park Service for ticket sales and transportation to Liberty and Ellis Islands, while the numerous third-party vendors sell tickets at higher prices or for boats that do not land at the islands.