Dewey business owner: “Memorial Day is a tough one to lose”
DELAWARE – This Memorial Day weekend, business owners say they’re not expecting a lot of customers and beach patrol is preparing to protect the public in a new way.
“This year we don’t have a clue what to expect and that makes things difficult,” says Steve Montgomery, the owner of The Starboard.
Delaware business owners usually look forward to Memorial Day weekend as the kick off to the summer season but this year many are bracing themselves for a very different situation. “I’ve kept my glass half full. I’ve tried to be positive and understand the situation but this one hurts. Memorial Day is a tough one to lose,” says Montgomery.
Montgomery says he agrees with the gradual reopening but still worries how not being open like normal will impact them, “When you’re in phase one of this in a restaurant industry, you’re still losing money at every cost at 30 percent occupancy. You still have the same expenses, the same costs.”
He says this weekend is arguably the most profitable of the entire year — so being restricted to only carryout and delivery will have lasting affects. “It’s not one that’s going to be fixed by some carry out or extending seating into our parking lot. It’s going to take years and years and years to recover from losing not only the three months in sales we’ve lost so far but losing this weekend itself is a very difficult one.”
Meanwhile, local beach patrols are still putting lifeguards in the stands. “They’e going to be ambassadors also as far as jus trying to let the people know or be aware that social distancing is still in effect,” says Rehoboth Beach Patrol Captain Kent Buckson.
Buckson believes the spotty weather won’t attract as many people to the beach but they are still preparing for people who make day trips. “I’m just hoping people are going to be courteous and responsible and respect the space of others not just themselves.”
As of now, Delaware bars and restaurants are allowed to open at 30 percent capacity on June 1st with expanded outdoor seating. Until then, they’re limited to carryout.