On-Grounds Operations

Update 10/22/2020: Yes, the grounds are open. Gates will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Oct. 26. Please see the "What gates are open?" FAQ for more information. 

Previous Update:

Update August 2020: Yes, the grounds are open for visitors. For safety and security purposes, no-cost Grounds Access Passes are currently required. Digital ticket files will be provided for at-home printing or use on your phone screen. Visit our Grounds Access and Operations page for more information and to place an online ticket order.

All who reside on or visit the Chautauqua grounds will be required to follow state and county regulations meant to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing, limits on gathering size and face-coverings. 

• See the chart at our main chq.org/update page to see an regularly updated status listing of Institution facilities, amenities and activities.

We continue to update the chart at chq.org/update regarding Institution-provided services and amenities as a quick reference point. For on-grounds shopping, dining and other services, please see chq.org/plan-your-visit/dining-and-shopping, where you will find each business’s contact information and links to their websites and/or Facebook pages. 

Update 10/22/20: Regular fall/winter/spring parking procedures are in place. Specific points to note include:

  • Do not block streets. If it is necessary to block a road for construction purposes, the Campus Planning and Operations Office must grant permission with at least 24 hours' notice (among other reasons for this procedure, Chautauqua Police and Fire departments must be notified so alternate emergency routes can be planned).
  • Do not park on grassy areas.
  • On-street parking is on one side of the road ONLY. When parking on a street where vehicles are already parked on one side, you must also park on that side.
  • The no-parking zone on Ames near Pratt is in effect year-round, to assist emergency vehicles in making a tight turn. 
  • Do not block intersections or stop signs. 
  • Do not park on sidewalks.
  • There is to be no overnight parking in Bestor Plaza parking areas.
  • There is no parking allowed in the loading area of the Amp.
  • South Lot, North Lot and Main Lot are available for parking unless inaccessible due to snow accumulation.

Previous Updates

Update 9/28/20: Regular fall/winter/spring parking procedures have resumed. Visitors and guests are still encouraged to make use of free parking in the Main Lot to limit the volume of vehicle and construction traffic on the grounds. All roads must be passable at all times.

Update May 2020: There will be no change in parking regulations during the 2020 summer as compared to past seasons. On-grounds parking — including private property, white-stake, South Lot and North Lot spots — will be by permit only. No-charge parking permits should be secured along with your long-term ticket order.  

Those without on-grounds parking permits should park in the Main Lot and enter the grounds as pedestrians. There will be no charge to park in the Main Lot, and the lot will not be staffed. 

45-minute hangtags will be available at the Main Gate auto entrance — these are meant for deliveries and pickups and to assist those who would have difficulty traversing the grounds from the Main Lot. Hangtag time limits will be strictly enforced. 

The usual summertime street closures will continue as normal.

For those who are able, we ask that you consider donating the normal cost of a parking pass to help sustain Chautauqua through this crisis and will provide the opportunity to do so as you place your orders. 

As allowed by the state and following safety and health orders, on-grounds businesses are permitted to operate at the discretion of owners/operators, and many are. Visit our Dining, Shopping and Activities page for updated information.

Update 10/22/20: To help accommodate residents who are staying at Chautauqua longer than usual, we left Chautauqua Institution community docks in the lake a little longer than normal, but they will all be out of the water by Oct. 26. Boat owners should make appropriate accommodations to have lifts removed prior to freezing temperatures settling in. 

Previous Updates:

Update 9/18/20: To help accommodate residents who are staying at Chautauqua longer than usual, we have left Chautauqua Institution community docks in the lake a little longer than normal, but due to lower lake water levels expected in late September, Chautauqua Institution dock removals will begin to occur on or about September 25. Boat owners should make appropriate accommodations for boats and arrange to have lifts removed prior to September 25, 2020. Central Dock will remain in place for a short time after the other docks are removed and boaters are welcome to request a space in Central Dock for a short period of time if needed. To request a space, please contact Jennifer Majewski at 716-357-6245 or via e-mail at jmajewski@chq.org.

Update May 2020: The Institution will install, open and monitor its public docks this summer. Regular fees apply. Slips are assigned through the Central Dock Office at docks@chq.org or 716-357-6245. Gas will be sold at Central Dock. However, there will be no parking at the docks and no access to the grounds from the docks, except for slip lessees. 

Benches and picnic tables are available around the grounds for public use. We ask that you please not move them together or into clusters. 

10/22/20 Update: Beginning Monday, Oct. 26, gate operations will revert to procedures used in previous years. All gates will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

Traffic between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. will still be required to travel through the main gate, which will be operated by Institution staff during those hours. Upon entry, staff will ask for personal information, including name and on-grounds destination, unless a “Winter Sticker” is displayed or an entrant self-scans with a valid Grounds Access Pass. Stickers are available free of charge beginning Wednesday, Oct. 21, to all property owners and employees, and we strongly encourage obtaining one at the Main Gate Welcome Center (716-357-6250) or at the Chautauqua Police Department (716-357-6225). Please call ahead during regular business hours to have a sticker processed for curbside pickup.

Complimentary Grounds Access Passes are available online at 2020tickets.chq.org or by phone at 716-357-6250 for anyone who wishes to utilize self-scanning for speed and convenience.  

Update May 2020: Many community members responded positively to our efforts to communicate about positive COVID-19 cases among Institution staff. Between June and October 2020, those notifications have been sent according to 24/7 passholder scan data. Beginning Oct. 26, we will send any necessary COVID-19 updates only to those who have indicated they wish to receive that information. Sign up for those notifications by clicking or tapping the link below. 

Send me COVID-19 Updates

As we change gate procedures, please note that access to facilities on the grounds remains subject to Institution operational capacity and capacity limits and other measures mandated by New York State or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Previous Updates:

9/28/20 Update: We continue to flow traffic through the Main Gate and require scanning of passes right now. We are using a new pass, called a Grounds Access Pass, which can be obtained here: https://2020tickets.chq.org/. As with our summer passes, they are free of charge and can be pre-ordered for curbside pickup or they can be emailed for at-home printing or use via mobile device. Parking passes are no longer required either on the grounds or in the parking lots.

This decision will be evaluated regularly as we monitor on-grounds traffic, government guidance and orders, and COVID-19 case statistics in the region.

The Chautauqua grounds are being staffed by the minimum essential personnel. Institution facilities, assets and public areas are not occupied or being monitored at the normal level of operations. We have closed all but the Main Gate in an effort to responsibly provide more security to protect Institution property, and that of our community members, during these current circumstances.

For our summer season, at this time, we are planning to staff only the Main Gate, with the auto entrance staffed 24/7. The Main Gate pedestrian entrance and exit lanes will also be staffed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily during the season dates. The Market Gate is operated remotely by the Chautauqua Police Department and available only for delivery vehicles.

We have heard concerns that this approach will cause backups in the center of the grounds, which we will monitor, and we appreciate that it is inconvenient for those who live on either end of the grounds. We hope you will understand that we need to be able to track population density and the number of hangtags being given out, etc. Centralizing entrance and exit is the best way to do that.  

Primary safety and security coverage is provided by the Chautauqua Police Department (a constabulary designated by the Town of Chautauqua) and the Chautauqua Volunteer Fire Department. For emergencies, always dial 911 first. The Chautauqua Police Department can be contacted 24/7 at 716-357-6225.



As with nearly all communities, we are primarily relying on residents and guests to act with respect for their neighbors’ health, safety and comfort in abiding by current laws and guidelines regarding social distancing and face-covering in public. If you are not willing to conduct yourself in a way that will put your fellow community members at ease, we ask that you not visit the grounds. The Chautauqua Police can be contacted at 716-357-6225 in the case of a public nuisance or safety hazard.

County and state guidance on quarantining measures, including New York State's Travel Advisory, is updated regularly. All visitors to Chautauqua Institution are expected to be familiar with and abide by any state or county recommendations or orders regarding quarantining that are in place at the time of your visit.

Update 10/22/2020: The hotel is accepting reservations for lodging through Oct. 25. The Heirloom Restaurant will be open for limited hours the weekend of Oct. 23-25, and will close for the season on Oct. 26. In accordance with a safety plan that follows local, state and federal regulations and guidance, the Athenaeum Hotel will continue to host small-scale weddings and other conferencing events, including using the Hall of Philosophy and Pier Building as venues, as long as weather allows.

Previous Update:

Update 9/18/20: The Athenaeum Hotel plans to continue operations into the fall, for both personal accommodations and in-person (porch and dining room) and takeout food and drink service through Heirloom Restaurant. Reservations and more information regarding health and safety protocols are available at the Athenaeum's website.

In accordance with a safety plan that follows local, state and federal regulations and guidance, the Athenaeum Hotel has resumed hosting small-scale weddings and other conferencing events, including using the Hall of Philosophy as a venue.

Update 8/31/20: Indoor fitness operations have resumed. Members only will be allowed inside the facility. Memberships that were valid on March 16 were reactivated on Aug. 31. Fitness center hours of operation will be 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday–Friday; 7 a.m. to noon Saturday. Hours will be expanded as it is deemed responsible to do so. Please visit the Fitness page for more information on operations and safety measures.

Previous Updates:

We do not know at this time and are following regulations put forth by New York State. The fitness center likely falls under the recreational amenities that would be permitted to reopen in the fourth phase of New York Forward, the staged plan to reopen the state. With at least two weeks between implementation of each phase, it is likely the fitness center will be closed until at least mid-July.

The removal program for ash trees will be more limited in scope than what we communicated in January, and will proceed on a case-by-case basis. Owners of property adjacent to an Institution-owned tree slated for removal will be provided advance notice.

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