Tourism in a post COVID world

Posted at 6:40 PM, May 08, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Summer is a big economic driver for Gift Box at the Beach in Olcott.

“Our season really gets going Memorial Day because that’s when all of our concerts and car shows and all of that start,” Karen Young co-owner of Gift Box at the Beach said.

But, with the uncertainties of when Western New York will re-open, many communities have been forced to cancel or postpone their summer events.

“I look at every single one of those events as a financial bump. There will be people we would have gotten that we wouldn’t have normally gotten because that event happened. And now, those are a lot of bumps we’re not gonna get,” Michael Rand, owner of Covey’s Cove in Olcott said.

Covey’s Cove opened up in Olcott nearly two years ago.

“First season was really fall and winter, which wasn’t really helpful. But, when we got through into the summer of 19, it was a game changer, it was like literally somebody flipped the money switch on,” Rand said.

In a lakeside community like Olcott, summer is the season to thrive.

“Were right on the lake and so we get a ton of tourist from Niagara Falls,” Young said.

But, without public attractions open, a lot of businesses that depend on it are taking a hit. That’s why Patrick Kaler, President and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, wants to help them.

“Buffalo has enjoyed a lot of wonderful press over the years and we don’t want to lose that momentum,” Kaler said.

Kaler has launched a tourism Recovery Task Force to help business recover after COVID-19.

“We are a resilient industry but we’re also a resilient destination,” he said.

His goal is to help businesses bounce back after the virus has loosened its grip on our region.

“It’s gonna be important for us to make sure that we’re doing our best to entice people to come to Buffalo as a safe welcoming very clean destination,” Kaler said.