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Tourism cities Solvang and Pismo Beach prepare for Memorial Day weekend

Social Distancing at Pismo Beach
KEYT/Anikka Abbott
Signs instruct visitors to social distance at Pismo Beach.

PISMO BEACH, Calif. - It's the start of memorial day weekend, just as restaurants and retail shops are starting to reopen. Popular tourism cities are preparing for a busy but safe weekend.

Solvang is helping to prepare businesses with education on how to self-certify their business, in hopes they can reopen for the long weekend.

"I think most of the restaurants that are going to be open this weekend have outdoor space, and so we're focusing on outdoor safer dining," said Chip Wullbrandt, City Attorney for Solvang.

He said the city and businesses both are doing a lot of cleaning and sanitizing.

Wullbrandt said he is expecting mostly locals to shop and dine in but that the city is expecting tourists too.

"We have not been advertising. We have not been doing the reach out yet," he said.

Likewise, officials at Pismo Beach are expecting more visitors over the Memorial Day weekend.

They haven't yet issued any citations over physical distancing, and they're hoping to maintain that over the holiday.

"There is a state order right now that's limiting ability to travel for recreation, so we're complying with that," said San Luis Obispo County Administrative Officer Wade Horton in the Friday Public Health conference.

Like Solvang, Pismo Beach is not advertising for tourists but is expecting them.

The order is not stopping people from traveling to nearby counties.

"Seems like it doesn't really matter," said Ernhel Tatunay, a visitor from Delano. "Most people are out here anyway. So we thought why not check it out and just have a good time at the beach."

Visitors say physical distancing is harder than they expected.

"It's been kind of difficult [to physical distance] just because there's a lot of people here and everyone's wanting to go to the beach and have a good time," said Timothy Ryan Stout from Bakersfield.

In uncharted territory, Pismo Beach officials say they do not know how many people to expect this holiday. They are planning a virtual Memorial Day ceremony.

Article Topic Follows: Holidays

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Anikka Abbott

Anikka Abbott is a weather anchor and reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Anikka, click here.


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