Eight months into the pandemic have taken a toll on local Central Coast businesses, but in Pismo Beach many restaurants and shops have managed to stay afloat and busy.
The Pismo Beach Pier and Plaza opened up last month and while it has attracted visitors, local business owners say they've managed to stay pretty busy even before the grand opening.
“From summer until now it’s continued to be very busy here," Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Lisa Kruitbosch said.
An initial slowdown at the beginning of the pandemic has turned around and Pismo Beach businesses are now bouncing back.
“Now with COVID, we’re able to be open and all of the businesses are thriving," Kruitbosch said.
Restaurants in the city say they have seen an increase in visitors during the pandemic.
Kruitbosch says many have been able to save their businesses by having outdoor dining.
“Over summer, things have really come around for a lot of the businesses, we’ve dealt with the seating problems, we’ve figured out how to handle all of the volume of the to-go foods," Splash Cafe Division and Operations Manager Derek Davis said.
Typical crowd slowdowns this time of year have not dropped off either.
“Usually after Labor Day, we start to see a little decline in numbers, but lately its just been kind of increasing and prolonging our summer," Wooly's restaurant manager Brittany Sons said.
Some visitors to the area say they feel a difference in Pismo compared to other more restrictive parts of the state.
"It’s opened up, we kind of knew that from people who’ve been here a lot in the past two weeks, that they’ve opened up a lot here," Fresno resident Mark Clark said.
The City of Pismo says it has become an attractive destination during the pandemic and has seen an increased demand for parking.
The city council has seen a 45.9% increase in parking revenue from July until September. Occupancy at metered parking spaces and lots have average about 80 to 85%.
Even with tourists coming to Pismo Beach, the city says they continue to see some of the lowest numbers of COVID-19 cases in the South County region.
The City of Pismo continues to encourage those that chose to visit Pismo Beach to wear their face coverings and practice social distancing.
The City of Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce says they have hired four new people to the plaza area to assist with wiping down tables and ensuring proper cleaning and sanitation.