Businesses, beachgoers get ready for Labor Day weekend

SAINT JOSEPH, Mich. --- Labor Day weekend is the last big weekend of the year, marking the unofficial end of summer.

As people across Michiana make plans for the holiday weekend, many people will end up at the beach. For business owners, the foot traffic means more local business—especially as some close out the season shortly after.

For the Wally & Gertz concession stand at Silver Beach, owner Anne Reitz said they are actually ahead of sales numbers in 2020 despite the pandemic.

Business during the pandemic has not necessarily been easy for Wally & Gertz, through navigating all of the COVID-19 restrictions, but Reitz said they are ready for the holiday weekend and look forward to seeing all of their customers.

“We’re most looking forward to saying hi to all of our regular customers that have been here throughout the season,” Reitz said. “A lot of the out-of-towners—we get to know everybody—and they really appreciate that we’re here, we’re open, we’re serving despite the pandemic going on.”

Business owners are not the only ones excited for the holiday weekend, either.

“Yeah, I’m really having fun! It’s going to be amazing,” one young beachgoer said.

One family said that they are just excited to be able to enjoy some time with the family, especially after being cooped up inside during the pandemic.

Despite the increased foot traffic at the beach, people have been taking safety precautions and staying socially distant, according to Reitz.

Beachgoers said that the best place to be during the pandemic is outdoors.

“Outside is probably the best thing that I think is on this earth, so you know, we like to come out here and enjoy it while we can before everything is all closed down….and coronavirus sure had us all inside, sitting here staring at each other, so it’s nice to get outside and look at everything and just enjoy it.”

Health officials do want to remind people to keep safety precautions in mind during the holiday weekend.

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