Poconos businesses recovering from COVID

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MOUNT POCONO, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The road to recovery for businesses after COVID restrictions were lifted led to many different paths.

Eyewitness News spoke to a national and local business in Mount Pocono on getting back to business as usual.

COVID-19 impacted businesses of all sizes. Whether it’s a resort as large as Great Wolf Lodge or a local escape room in Mount Pocono. Both faced tough times during the pandemic.

“When this all first happened it was scary and uncertainty for everybody,” Great Wolf Lodge Poconos general manager Bill Colavito said.

Great Wolf Lodge Poconos is an indoor water park that’s open all year, attracting tourists from across the country.

The lodge’s general manager tells Eyewitness News despite the shutdown within the last year due to the pandemic, they have fully recovered and guests are eager to visit.

“In the last year, we’ve seen just incredible demand to our destination which has been fantastic. It almost seems like there’s been such pent-up demand where people want to get out,” Colavito said.

Just down the road from the internationally-known lodge, Big Screen Escapes opened nearly a year ago. Co-owner Matthew Hensel says opening during COVID was a challenge.

“It was November, things were kind of halfway opened up. People were nervous about coming out. We actually closed down for a while because I had gotten COVID and the governor also issued a new mandate shutting things down,” Hensel said.

He says after January the business picked back up. He credits summertime tourists with helping to spread the name of the new escape room.

“It’s tough to forecast what next year’s going to look like because we’re still trying to figure out this year and plus trying to figure out a new business in the middle of a pandemic, but things have been improving,” Hensel said.

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