GRAND LAKE, Colo. — It’s no mystery why Grand Lake is visited by hundreds of thousands of people a year.
Town Manager John Crone said the town is filled with beauty and adventure. Because of the coronavirus, he said Grand Lake went into lockdown and all the visitors that used to fill the town’s streets disappeared.
"We actually were having one of our best winter tourism months ever," Crone said.
Add to that the closure of Rocky Mountain National Park, which is a huge driver for business.
"We’re not a chain store town; we don’t have any chains," Crone said. "So, the people who own these businesses, the people who work there, all live next door."
A popular attraction is the town’s marina. Now, Crone says all tours will have to be slashed in half to allow for cleaning and social distancing.
"Usually we take 20 people out on a tour, and now, to ensure social distancing and safe spacing, it’ll be nine to 10, nine people max."
The changes in business are something Jennifer Brown and Steve Kudron, who is also the town’s mayor, are getting ahead of.
"We put duck feet down. We spent all of last week reorganizing our stores so that they’re one way in a direction," Brown said.
In their store, Kudron says the possibilities are endless for finding the perfect rubber ducky.
"When kids come to Grand Lake, often times the duck shop is the first place they go because they get to go through and look at all the ducks," she said.
But now they’ll be the ones doing all the digging through the baskets.
All businesses will also be allowed to move onto the boardwalk with tables to allow for more space.
Based on the crowds the town saw last weekend, Crone is hopeful people will continue showing up while staying safe.
"We want you to be safe, we want you to wear masks, we want you to practice social distancing, but come on up and enjoy the wonder that is Grand Lake."