Businesses seeing strong numbers during holiday weekend

You might expect business to be down with coronavirus numbers on the rise, but Guntersville businesses say it's not the case.

Posted: Jul 3, 2020 7:31 PM
Updated: Jul 3, 2020 9:55 PM

The Fourth of July weekend is usually among the busiest for businesses in vacation areas and it seems coronavirus hasn't changed that in Guntersville.

Friday, stores in the Guntersville area told WAAY 31 they’re seeing strong numbers that may even surpass normal years.

“It's not lower,” Paul Ponder, manager of Guntersville Tackle and Outdoor at Waterfront, said. “It has been a very, very good year."

At his tackle store, Ponder supplies all the fishing essentials. He said he think's time spent in quarantine has given people a strong desire to get on the water.

"They get to get out there on the boat, they still got their six foot, and so they're just having a good time,” he said. “They're making a positive out of a sad situation. We hear so much negative that finally we're getting a positive."

Ponder told WAAY 31 that he's seen an increase in general use rods ahead of the holiday weekend.

"That tells us that a lot of families are getting out, they're learning to fish, they're having fun."

Among his customers Friday was the Maxwell family, who traveled nearly six hours from Mississippi.

The family said they had been there the year before and caught more than 100 bass during a four-day stay. This year, the family couldn't pass up what they called one of the “best lakes in the country.”

Other local businesses like Guntersville Outfitters say the holiday weekend isn't generally their busiest -- but the sale of hot items like beach towels, coolers and sandals has been accelerated.

"We've actually started bring on newer items and more shoes and sandals and that thing, so those are picking up for us and we're seeing more foot traffic come through the store as well," owner Chris Stanley said.

WAAY 31 reached out to several boat rental stores today -- most said they were too busy to talk as July 4th is their biggest weekend of the year, even during a pandemic.

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