Tourists flock to Okoboji for Memorial Day weekend

Local News

OKOBOJI, Iowa (KCAU) – This Memorial Day weekend, many tourists are heading to their usual summer getaway in Okoboji.

But as COVID-19 continues to be a concern across Siouxland, local businesses there are implementing new guidelines to keep customers safe.

“It’s a little bit different this year with the COVID-19 thing. Things are more spaced out and less people, but it will be fun still,” said Irish Knuston, a shopper. 

Arnold’s Park in Okoboji is known for its shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.

This year, however, things are a little different. 

“Keeping our distance, making sure we’re respecting other people too. I’ve seen a few people wearing a mask, but for the most part, people are keeping their distance,” said Maci Higgins, a shopper.  

The local economy is up and running this Memorial Day weekend as many Okoboji businesses have been given the green light to open their doors. 

“I know there will be a lot of people and we’re just playing it by ear and really appreciate all the support our community and the tourism gets us,” said Laura Bjornstad, owner of Boat House Apparel.

There are some changes that businesses are implementing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re constantly wiping down with Lysol after someone has checked out, making sure that the counter is clean again, and we’re using hand sanitizer every second we get,” said Bjornstad.

“We have added a lot of extra cleaning procedures and the hand sanitizer–we want people to keep their distance–they are welcome to wear a mask,” said Janine Gustafson, owner of Yoga Okoboji.

Some businesses, like Yoga Okoboji, have decided to wait until June to open their doors. 

“Maybe we’ll be able to add more spots in the studio. Maybe the people will continue to come in and the ones that continue to stay home will have that option,” said Gustafson.

One thing that has remained the same for people and businesses is the sense of optimism as things will soon be back to normal.

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