Montana’s largest entertainment and production company will postpone all events for the next 30 days to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and the city of Missoula will close the Currents Aquatic Center until next month.
Logjam Presents, based in Missoula, said Saturday it has postponed all events starting immediately to protect public health, including all shows at the Wilma and Top Hat.
“While there is no current moratorium on public gatherings in Montana, Logjam Presents has decided to postpone all live events for a period of 30 days,” said Nick Checota, owner of Logjam Presents. “We are following the lead of communities that are more advanced in the spread of COVID-19.”
The Missoula City-County Health Department on Friday said it wasn’t ready to implement mandatory crowd restrictions, nor has the state taken such measures. Other cities in the U.S., however, have taken such steps to slow the spread of the virus, with some going so far as to close schools.
Six cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Montana, including two in Missoula County. The later two were reported on Saturday afternoon.
“While the impact of canceling all of the events at our venues will have a significant impact on business, we feel it is the most effective way to help curtail the spread of COVID-19,” Checota said.
Logjam owns and operates three concert venues in Missoula, including the Wilma and Top Hat. The later will continue to operate as a bar and restaurant with increased sanitation efforts, Checota said.
Kitchen staff will be required to wear masks and gloves during prep and hand sanitizer stations will be available for staff and public. Staff members are required to report and stay home if they show any symptoms of the virus, Checota said.
“Safety of our customers, as well as the safety of the communities in which we operate, is our highest priority and must supersede the business interests of our company,” Checota said. “We will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and remain in contact with local state and government health officials.”
Missoula Parks and Recreation on Saturday also said it was closing the Currents Aquatics Center and will suspend most programs through April 3.
Donna Guakler, director of Parks and Rec, said there is no evidence suggesting that any facility within the program has been exposed to the virus. But the CDC has recommended social distancing and facility closures to help slow transmission of the disease.
“As the disease spreads throughout the nation, our local response becomes even more critical as we work together to protect each other and the vulnerable populations in our community,” Gaukler said.
The department has yet to determine the status of rentals and user group permits at Missoula’s athletic fields, picnic shelters and other facilities within the park system. Gaukler said staff will contact user groups and reservation holders next week with more information.
Those who have purchased tickets for local events organized by Logjam Presents are encouraged to hold onto their tickets, as all tickets will be honored for rescheduled dates. Checota said refunds are also available for canceled events by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If tickets were purchased in person from the Top Hat or Rockin’ Rudy’s, refunds will be available at the Top Hat box office starting Monday, March 16th.