Tumamoc Hill threatens to close if visitors continue to disregard rules

Tumamoc Hill may close temporarily

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Whether you are there for the views, the exercise, or both, Tumamoc Hill is a popular Tucson destination.

However, the hill may have to temporarily close if the majority of visitors continue to ignore the rules.

Tumamoc Hill closed during the COVID-19 lockdown, and re-opened on Memorial Day with new safety protocols in place.

There are now signs at the base of the hill and on the website, alerting people to the new requirements which include wearing a mask, keeping a safe social distance, and limiting group sizes to three or fewer.

“Forgive me, it’s in the car,” said Darlene Dupree.

Dupree went for a late morning run on Tumamoc Hill and did not realize what she had forgotten until she saw the signs.

“I forgot my mask,” Dupree said.

Dupree said she supports the rules.

“If I come at 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning, there is a gang of people,” Dupree said.

Ben Wilder is the director of Tumamoc Hill. He said while there are requirements, staff has not wanted to police the community.

“This is such a volatile period, and everybody is hurting,” said Wilder. “But we aren’t at a point anymore where we can stand back and watch a very low amount of people wear masks.”

Wilder said Tumamoc Hill sees anywhere from 700 to 1,000 visitors a day and less than 30 percent are following the rules.

“We can easily have over 100 to 250 people on the hill at one time, Given such a narrow road, we can’t effectively social distance and that is why masks are so important,” Wilder said.

Wilder said his staff is working with health officials to follow the trends. He said over the next two weeks, they will closely monitor compliance levels.

“I am cautiously optimistic. What we want, our goal, is to keep the hill open,” Wilder said.

In order for that to happen, Wilder said they need more than double the compliance.

A decision will be made around August 7.

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