By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Employees at Navy Pier are preparing to reopen indoor spaces and hallways on Thursday, as retail stores and other businesses will soon begin to gradually reopen, with Navy Pier planning to fully reopen by Memorial Day weekend.

The Pier also plans to launch its annual slate of summer arts and cultural programs over the Memorial Day weekend.

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Navy Pier began its gradual reopening plan last month, with the following areas already open to the public since April 30: Navy Pier parking garages, Polk Bros Park, Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion, North and South Docks, Pier Park (including select rides and attractions), and the East End Plaza.

Tour boats and cruises, the new Sable hotel and some restaurants also opened at limited capacity on April 30.

Navy Pier said more businesses will gradually reopen in the coming weeks, leading up to the full reopening on Memorial Day weekend.

“As our community continues to make progress in recovery from the pandemic, we are thrilled to continue welcoming guests back to the lakefront safely,” Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner said in a statement. “As tourism also begins to resume, we encourage local and regional travelers to consider a visit and overnight stay to take advantage of our vast open spaces, dining, retail, attractions, arts and culture and new hotel.”

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Navy Pier is currently open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Beginning Friday, May 28, the Pier will expand its hours through Labor Day: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Navy Pier parking garage rates will also change from the current flat rate of $29 to tiered hourly rates. Discounted parking is also available at nearby parking garages, including City Front Place, Grand Plaza, Ogden Plaza and Millennium Park. Discounts range from $13 to $15 based on the garage and with validation at Navy Pier Guest Services.

Also on May 28, Navy Pier will kick off its summer programs, with the outdoor Neighborhood Artisan Markets Presented by PNC Bank, featuring unique local artisans and small business owners from across Chicago.

For a list of other summer programs scheduled for this year at Navy Pier, click here.

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Masks will still be required at Navy Pier. Social distancing, added cleaning procedures, and other COVID-19 precautions also will be in place.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff