JIM THORPE, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Memorial Day weekend is in full swing but it is different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Some areas in the Poconos are back and booming while others are chomping at the bit to get there.
The park in Jim Thorpe bustling. Tourism and local retail returning to much of the Poconos a delight to many along Broadway.
“People coming out, wanting to get out on the bike trails and rent bikes. We can run and operate our shuttle and stuff like that is really good for us,” Paul Fogal, owner of Pocono Biking, said.
As you walk down the street a departure from the previous norm over the last two months: Open signs. Many local businesses having to resort to online sales or other means of surviving.
“I actually felt like a dealer at that point, making cash deals curbside and delivering records and doing what I had to do to at least try to pay the light bill,” Soundcheck Records owner ‘Trooper’ Pompa said.
All Memorial Day weekend signs pointing to a resurgence for local business.
“I just heard somebody complaining that they couldn’t find a place to park which tells me that things have finally loosened up,” Pompa said.
While people were out in full force in Jim Thorpe, Carbon County, in Stroudsburg, Monroe County, it was a relative ghost town.
“We’re survivors and we did what we had to do and the businesses do what they have to do and I know when they open, their doors are going to be flooded with people to support them,” Mayor Tarah Probst said.
While areas in the Pocono region are yellow-lit for reopening, other counting the days and confident in a triumphant return.
“So I really feel this pandemic has helped people realize the importance of public school, teachers, small towns, small business owners. I think it’s going to be to the benefit of Stroudsburg,” Probst said.
Hopes are high and time will tell. Carbon and Wayne Counties are already in the yellow phase with local retail stores opening and lightened restrictions. Pike and Monroe Counties will move into the yellow phase this Friday.