Ocean City businesses reflect on lessons learned during the summer of COVID-19

OCEAN CITY, Md. – Businesses say that surviving this summer of COVID-19 has changed the way they’ll do business in the future. “I’ve been doing this for more than 40 years and I can honestly say this has been our toughest summer,” said co-owner of Bull on the Beach Michele Knopp.

A tough summer – but one full of lessons learned. At least, that’s the case for business owners in Ocean City as the summer season comes to a close with Labor Day. “Every single week we were like okay what do we need to do different now, what can we do better, and how can we keep moving forward as smoothly and as safely as possible?” said Knopp.

At Bull on the Beach, owners Phil Houck and Michele Knopp say the saving grace during the uncertainty of COVID-19 has been loyal customers and hard work on the part of their staff. “Bar tenders were becoming dishwashers. Everybody kind of stepped up. It really was about our staff this summer. They were just awesome,” said Knopp.

Just a couple streets down at the Princess Royale Hotel, General Manager Kyle Johnson says surprisingly enough – this has been the busiest Labor Day Weekend they’ve had in decades. “Since we opened in 1991 we actually had the best Labor Day Weekend three day period,” said Johnson.

Johnson says that the biggest challenge has been ensuring that all guests at the Princess Royale are staying safe while enjoying their summer. But the experience has prepared the hotel for any challenge that may come in the future. “We’ve had several months now to figure out exactly how to work our operations with this new normal as we like to call it. We feel like we can do it safely and in a responsible manner,” said Johnson.

Johnson says he expects to still have a few good weekends coming up. But he’s just happy knowing that guests and staff at the hotel have managed to stay healthy. “People were scared to travel and I think people are starting to look at businesses and say we can go. It’s not as scary as we thought it was,” said Johnson.

Categories: Business, Coronavirus, Local News, Maryland, Top Stories