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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.

Conestoga Ranch has heated covered wagons and mattresses for a unique “glamping” experience.

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.

Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at

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