Bear Lake Businesses Expecting Busy Season
GARDEN CITY, Utah – The counties around Bear Lake still have zero COVID-19 cases, but they’re preparing for what’s already looking to be a very busy tourism season.
The main drag in Garden City wasn’t packed on a cold and rainy Wednesday, but some of the businesses that were open were seeing some early spring crowds, and some good signs this Memorial Day weekend will be big.
Spend enough time at home and you might be ready to rough it — or “glamp” it, as they do here at Conestoga Ranch with heated wagons and mattresses.
They have had a busy week, which was unusual for this time of year.
“We were really surprised, said general manager Seth Porter. “We went from just a handful of bookings in April for our May and June season, to hundreds.”
Porter said they saw many cancellations for the summer, as COVID-19 made its way to the U.S.
Now, they’re seeing a major turnaround.
“We’ve been full last weekend,” Porter said. “We’re booked out for the rest of the month. The weekdays are actually looking really busy as well.”
And the bookings continue, with Memorial Day weekend looking to be their busiest one yet.
“You can see, we’re naturally set up for social distancing. we’re able to check guests in, and have them go straight to their tent, without having any contact if that’s what they prefer,” Porter said.
And while some business owners were excited, they were also being careful. They haven’t had to deal with the coronavirus out here and they don’t want to, if possible.
“Definitely a different year than I’ve experienced up here, for sure,” said Brandon Cook, general manager at Hometown Drive-in.
Cook said they’re disinfecting often, employees are wearing masks and their tables are spaced apart. Indoor dining is still closed for now.
But he also added that it’s been a roller coaster year.
“With all the food costs going up, we’re skimming through — barely,” Cook said.
But he believed that can start to change in just a few days.
Cook also said they’ve had a steady stream of customers over the past week or so.
He said he’s never seen that in the close to 30 years he’s worked at his family business.
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