Seasonal businesses impacted by lack of tourism amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

Like many industries, Erie’s tourism is still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 shutdown, an industry that could lose millions this year.

Businesses along Peninsula Drive are operating, but not as usual. The hope is that as we move close to the green phase.

“It’s just hard to predict this year. So, we are just going to go with it and see what happens.” said Kathy Carlotti, Co-Owner of Beach Zero.

From creating a new way to serve customers to cutting down orders to cut down costs, the summer of 2020 is impacting many.

“If you don’t have the products at the onset of the season, often times its two or three weeks longer to get something that you need. So, we weren’t able to order as much at the beginning of the year. Therefore, we are going to be going without some items that people want.” said Tom Carlotti, Co- Owner of Beach Zero.

Businesses are seeing a decrease due to COVID-19, but that comes with a new idea of creativity to bring people in.

“We let people walk through with masks on in the drive thru between cars, so it’s an improvement. I think that people are still very cautions, but I think because they’re getting out and being cautious, their mood is getting better because they got to come out in the sunshine.” said Sean Candela, owner of Sara’s.

Even though there are some things to look forward to, there is one struggle that remains evident for each business owner.

“It’s the daily uncertainty, but once again, we have great weather coming. Hopefully, the temperature helps us out a little bit. Hopefully vaccines and some treatments come along. I think we just have to focus on enjoying things as much as we can.” Candela said.

With question of what’s to come, there is one small piece of advice….

“Don’t give up, just stay positive. Don’t over extend yourself. Be smart, you never know.” Carlotti said.

Things are looking better for those businesses along Peninsula Drive as the state announced that the Presque Isle Beaches will be open for swimming on June 6th.

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