Tourism has been a strong economic driver in Skagit County, especially since this area located between Seattle and Vancouver is known for its breathtaking tulip fields. However, the county’s local tourism industry almost came to a halt with the onset of the global pandemic.
The good news is, Washington State officials are on top of the situation despite the health crisis with the Roadmap to Recovery, unveiled last January 6.
By following the Roadmap, Skagit County is starting to come alive anew as it learns to cope with the new normal presented by COVID-19. Here are several techniques being used by businesses in the said county to keep afloat:
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is on!
The popular Skagit Valley Tulip Festival – a trademark event in the county – was canceled last year due to the onset of the pandemic. However, come April 1 to 30 this year, organizers are bringing it back. Details on safety protocols, as well as events and activities, will be announced by the end of January, according to the festival website.
Speaking of tulips…
Tulip Town, a beloved Mount Vernon tulip farm and one of the most active participants in the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, has been taking orders for bulbs via their website. They have also given back to the community via their #Color for Courage campaign where donations were collected to buy tulip bouquets for people in the frontlines of the pandemic, as well as vulnerable and isolated groups or individuals.
Eating out done safely
Since indoor dining is prohibited, many dining spots and breweries in the area are switching their services to drive-thru, takeout, and delivery. Among these establishments are Gere-a-Deli, Dad’s Diner A Go-Go, Vagabond Station, and Naung Mai Thai Kitchen, all located in Anacortes.
Meanwhile, other restaurants are now featuring outdoor dining. Well-ventilated outdoor structures such as tents, pods, greenhouses, and patios are making up for the indoor ambiance of these food spots. Seating capacity is also limited to a maximum of six persons per table.
Railroad Pub & Pizza in Burlington turned their primarily-indoor restaurant into one that fits under the open-air dining category by opening its five immense windows for better ventilation.
Phone and online ordering
Retail shops, farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and pharmaceuticals are only allowed 25% capacity in their outlets. Most of them are turning to the internet to augment sales, on top of accommodating phone ordering and home deliveries.
Mount Vernon retail establishments like Sprouts Clothing and art gallery/lifestyle shop Perry and Carlson are maximizing their websites and social media accounts by allowing online shopping. Local knitting favorite Wild Fibersalso offers home delivery.
Bow Hill Blueberries, the oldest blueberry farm in Skagit, has recently been seeing sales shooting as high as 400% due to more people turning toward healthier and immune system-boosting food options. People can purchase their goods from local farmers’ markets in Ballard, Anacortes, and Bellingham, as well as from the farm itself. But for customers‘ safety and convenience, they also feature their products in their online store.
Specialty shops like Christianson Nursery in Mount Vernon have set up curbside pickup for customers, thus eliminating the need to enter the store. The same is true for the La Conner gallery of Earthenworks where art patrons can choose from locally made fine art and crafts online then arrange for a pickup date.
Going remote and setting up appointments and private tours
Commercial establishments providing professional and personal services in Skagit County are allowed only up to 25% capacity. You now need to set appointment-based sessions in fitness facilities like gyms. Said sessions can run up to 45 minutes only with attendees separated from each other at 500 square feet.
Indoor entertainment venues such as indoor theaters, indoor concert halls, and aquariums now offer private tours for individual households of no more than six people. As for ticketed events, these can be attended in batches of up to ten people at a time.
As Skagit County and the rest of Washington State tread carefully on the road to economic recovery, The Groesbeck Group will continue to provide excellent services for your chosen real estate transaction. Call the team today at 360.941.3734 or via email at Info(at)JeanGroesbeck(dotted)com.