Businesses working hard to keep tourism alive during COVID-19, Marion County judge says

Businesses working hard to keep tourism alive during COVID-19, Marion County judge says

JEFFERSON, Texas (KLTV) - These days everyone would like to get out of the house for a little distraction. Well, Jefferson might be a good destination for that, but what can you expect if you go? KLTV gives us a look in the Next Normal.

It’s a quiet little town most of the time and many recent events have been canceled due to the pandemic. But there are still things to do in town and Marion County Judge Leward LeFleur says they’re trying to be proactive.

“The City of Jefferson has out some hand washing stations throughout town during the weekends so that when people come in they can wash their hands not just at the public restroom, but there are different stations throughout downtown,” LaFleur said.

Which is one step beyond hand sanitizer so you can clean up before a bite to eat, or going into a place like the Jefferson General Store. That’s where a tourist like Albert Burkhalter from Dallas is doing a little shopping before heading to Caddo.

“We’re going to go out on the lake today. It looks like the marina was pretty busy. And there was a lot of boats out when we came up downtown this morning so we’re looking forward to that. So it should be a good day. And I think everyone’s trying to do their own thing and kind of stay away, like keep their distance, you know,” Burkhalter said.

Paola Bautista at the general store says they’re:

“Following what we’re required to do; fifty percent capacity which is about 75 people in here, and then we’re also wearing our masks, hand sanitizing all the time. And we also have some shields at our registers,” Bautista said.

They actually had to close down their ice cream counter since people would be too close while seated, but it provided front row seats for a bunch of stuffed animals.

And did they ever expect to be selling face masks?

“Not really. We never thought we would get to the point where we are ordering and selling and having a whole display of face masks,” Bautista said.

And they, like other Jefferson businesses, are sanitizing surfaces between customers. People are coming back to Jefferson but:

“We took a hit just like every other community throughout the nation, but we’re doing better than expected,” LaFleur added.

It’s a little slow on weekdays, but come Saturday and Sunday things pick up in Jefferson, in the Next Normal.

So business isn’t exactly booming in Jefferson, but it is picking up steadily and Saturdays are pretty busy. Busy enough the Jefferson General Store is ordering more face masks every couple weeks.

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