As things slowly get back to normal, two Erie venues are hosting their first major events since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
The Bayfront Convention Center is hosting the Erie RV and Sport Expo starting Friday and going through the weekend. This year, it’s going to look a little different.
As RV dealers set up for this weekend, Mark Concilla of Erie Promotions says they likely will not make as much money as in years past, but it’s a good step moving forward.
“We are really looking forward to giving people the opportunity to take that step back towards normal. At this point in time, we normally would have had eight shows already this year.” Concilla said.
This year, only a limited amount of people are allowed in at once. Erie Promotions is getting guidance from the Erie County Department of Health. Concilla says there will be a small concession area that has been approved.
“Some of the things that we have done is take the floor plan and there is not as many vendors as years past. We had to spread out the vendors, basically giving the social distancing for vendors and people that are here at the show.” Concilla said.
Despite the pandemic, sales for RVs have not been hurt too bad.
“It’s been hard to keep things in stock. There is a lot of demand for people that are looking to take a vacation within their homes or right here on Lake Erie.” Concilla said.
Meanwhile, Erie Insurance Arena is hosting its first sport event since last March. They still have to follow strict CDC guidelines and are limiting how many people can attend. The College Hockey America Women’s Tournament starts Thursday and runs through Saturday.
“We are excited to be back, we put the ice in. It’s good to be back in business. We were able to call back some of our employees that have been furloughed for nearly a year and we are hopeful things are getting better here.” said Casey Wells.
LECOM has been using the Bayfront Convention Center for vaccination clinics, but in a different part of the building. Wells says the only other event at the arena since the pandemic started was a recent vaccination clinic.