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ATV rental businesses continue to take a hit while Oceano Dunes remains closed to vehicles

Posted at 6:40 PM, Jun 29, 2020

The Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is still closed and with the 4th of July coming up, many businesses nearby are at a standstill.

ATV rental businesses said usually at this time of year they would be rented out and busy, but with the state park being closed to vehicle traffic, things are different.

Arnie's ATV rental in Grover Beach said they haven't closed since El Niño back in 2019.

"It's like a ghost town right now which is very, very strange," said Shawn Dowdy, an employee with Arnie's ATV.

"There is no business, you know.. so we are all struggling now. The owners of the companies, all these ATV companies, are all struggling right now you know, there's just no business to be done," Dowdy said.

Since the closures, rental places like Arnie's ATV and BJ'S ATV are making sure customers know they will stay closed until State Parks reopens the dunes.

Many are leaving voice recordings informing people about their closure.

BJ'S ATV Rentals has a voice recording saying, "Please check back whenever you can or check out our website or social media. As soon as the park will open the gates we will be back in business. Thank you so much."

When it comes to the 4th of July, Dowdy says the shop would have been in full gear.

"Oh wow, these places would be packed with people. The beach would be packed.. We would be sold out completely um day after day," said Dowdy.

Now, all there's left to do is wait.

"The best I've heard, not until sometime after 4th of July because they're afraid of the crowding causing more case spikes in COVID-19," said Dowdy.

As of now, Pismo State Beach and Oceano Dunes SVRA remain open to public access. Parking will be available at the Grand Avenue Park entrance as well as Pier Avenue, which will have limited parking.

Park Directors want to remind visitors to protect themselves, their communities and California by following social distancing guidelines.