PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — As 2022 quickly approaches The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact many aspects of our daily lives.
But this New Years Holiday is very different for many businesses that were shut down this time last year because of COVID concerns.
And many New Year’s Eve events in our region that had to be canceled, are now back again.
Downtown Wilkes-Barre, which was known to be a hot spot for New Year’s Eve events, was dark last year because of COVID.
But some businesses are now saying “what a difference a year makes.”
“We are so excited. You know this time last year we weren’t even here. We weren’t open,” explained Jennifer Ducharme, Director of Events, Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Jennifer Ducharme showed Eyewitness News the ballroom at Mohegan Sun Pocono as this place was dark last New Year’s Eve.
Mohegan Sun Pocono was shut down because of COVID-19. The gates to the property were closed.
But now there is new life as this ballroom prepares to play host to a New Year’s Eve party.
“Oh, my gosh we are so excited. Usually, New Year’s Eve is one of our favorite events of the year. So we are so excited we can open up our ballroom again to the public and have a great event for everybody to celebrate this year,” said Ducharme.
Thom Greco owns the Oyster Restaurant and Bar inside Genetti’s Best Western Hotel in downtown Wilkes-Barre. They were permitted to be open last New Year’s Eve because they are part of the hotel.
The turnout was low but, this year is a different story.
“This year it’s a bigger interest than we had last year. The Oyster Restaurant is sold out,” said Greco.
Gyms like 10K Fitness in Taylor were closed. But this year people can work out.
“We’re excited to be here, last year we were once again shut down and it was very hard to do. But now we’re finally like in the driver’s seat. We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Daniel Cronauer, Owner 10K Fitness.
And folks like Mark Naylor, Duryea, say they can get a head start on their New Year’s resolution.
“The staff here is phenomenal. They keep everything clean and the people who work out everybody wipes their equipment down after they’re done. So it feels good to also have a comfortable safe place,” Naylor said.
Dr. Matthew Berger is a Psychiatrist and says many people are suffering from what he calls ‘COVID fatigue’ and he has some advice for those folks.
“If you did what you did before try to maintain that with maybe some new precautions. The most appropriate normal schedule for you, ” explained Dr. Berger.
The business owners Eyewitness News spoke with say they understand that COVID cases are on the rise and will continue to take safety precautions such as cleaning and social distancing.