AMANA, Iowa (KCRG) –
Nearly a million people visit the Amana Colonies in a typical year, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, that number may be hard to reach in 2020.
“We are kind of having consistent small crowds. Last year we had big festivals, a lot of people at once on the weekends. This year seems like it’s kind of steady throughout the week,” Jessica Maurer at the Amana Woolen Mill said.
She said when reopening in May, business was slow moving, but is now on the rise. Maurer said that could be do in part to small events like the Pop-Up Art Mart, which replaces the larger, annual art festival.
“We get people coming to town that heard about that (Art Mart) or are driving through town and see a lot going on and maybe stick around longer,” she said.
Debbie Cram of Rock Island, Illinois brought her friend from Ohio to visit the Colonies Saturday.
“It was an idea to bring somebody from out of town up here to experience something different because there is nothing going on in the quad cities right now,” Cram said.
They say the fact that you can be outside and other safety precautions like requiring masks in shops made them feel safer to visit.
Across the street inside the Chocolate Haus, manager Liz Wood said it’s almost business as usual.
“Typically there is tour buses, school kids coming though, but now there are people that are more willing to support small businesses that are coming-out. More than they usually would, more locals coming out,” Wood said.
Wood said online sales helped the shop early on, but now they are looking to hire more staff as foot traffic increases. A result some shoppers are happy to support.
“Let’s help small businesses, people make money. It’s small business Iowa, that’s how we survive, we have to have small businesses to survive,” Cram said.
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