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“We’re prepared for you:” Lake Geneva businesses making changes to allow for tourism

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LAKE GENEVA, Wis. (CBS 58) – The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting every industry, but one hit particularly hard is tourism and the areas that depend on it.

“We’re used to things being busy and bustling,” VISIT Lake Geneva President and CEO Stephanie Klett said. “When you come downtown now, it’s a very strange feeling.”

Year after year Lake Geneva draws in more than $500 million in tourism, but this spring has been like no other.

“We had a really strong January, February,” Klett said. “March came and in March, April and May it was like a bomb went off.”

Klett said despite the pandemic, local businesses are doing their best.

“The people here have reinvented how they do business,” she said.

Klett explained that includes curbside pick-up, online orders and how business owners clean their stores.

The Abbey Resort is one of the places feeling the impact of COVID-19.

“Everyone has had to adapt and us, like other hotels, have had to really rethink the way we do things and not only now, but beyond,” Abbey Resort General Manager Michael Lucero said.

The resort is making changes including how they sanitize, set up large spaces and how they deliver room service.

“Designed to give people the confidence and comfort of coming to the Abbey, enjoying their stay while knowing that we’re taking the extra measures to insure that they’re safe,” he said.

Klett’s biggest message for people from out of town is that Lake Geneva is ready for visitors.

“Take baby steps if you’re not comfortable, we’re prepared for you here,” she said. “So if you’re a little apprehensive about testing the waters, this is the perfect place to start.”

Many restaurants in the area are doing take out and stores are now slowly opening, allowing a few people inside.

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