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Downtown Chattanooga businesses relying on Memorial Day weekend to bring in business

Chattanooga Northshore gift shop Blue Skies open for Memorial Day weekend - Abby Kirk WTVC.jpg
Kim Meyer is the store manager at Blue Skies. The gift shop on the NorthShore just opened their doors on Tuesday. (Image: Abby Kirk WTVC)

Your Memorial Day weekend will look a lot different this year.

With social distancing guidelines, people may choose not to have the typical cookout or lake plans you're used to seeing.

And it's also affecting businesses that rely on the tourism that comes with the weekend.

After almost two months of being unable to welcome guests through their doors, Bruce Weiss, owner of River Street Deli, greets his customers like he always has.

"We would get people in here all the time," Weiss said talking about his deli. "Were okay now."

His restaurant sits right across from Coolidge Park, which makes it a popular spot to grab a bite to eat when out and about.

Weiss says they turned to takeout only when the city was shutdown.

"Like everybody, your business takes a real dive," Weiss said.

Other local businesses say they're relying on the holiday weekend more than ever to kick start their business.

Kim Meyer, store manager at Blue Skies, opened their doors on Tuesday.

"We're definitely expecting some foot traffic just some people coming maybe down from Nashville that wants to get out of Nashville," Meyer says they're staying optimistic. "Normally on Memorial Day weekend we would be packed in here. It would be 30 to 40 people in here, dogs in here, kids in here. We know that's going to be different this year, but we're just excited to see people," she added.

Changing with the times.

Blue Skies is making it mandatory for both staff and customers to wear masks and putting a limit on how many shoppers can be inside the store.

"Every time somebody checks out we're cleaning down the surfaces, we're cleaning the pen, we're cleaning the doors," Meyer said.

Most say it's a challenge, but one they say they're ready to take on.

"This is my neighborhood, this is my store, and I'm just ready to welcome everybody back in," Meyer said.

If you're planning to venture out this Memorial Day weekend, the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) recommends you wear a mask and continue to practice social distancing.


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