Things are starting to return to normal for some local businesses on the Central Coast as they lift restrictions, but some say the restrictions put in place during the pandemic actually helped their business model and the changes are here to stay.
"You know people are just so happy. They do walk up right now with their masks on and we'll say, 'Hey, we're double vaccinated as our staff is.' and they are so happy to pull off that mask," said Pat Goetz, Casitas Estate owner.
Goetz says now that she and her entire staff are vaccinated, they are lifting restrictions for guests for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.
"We did change our protocols when we had the COVID, we did not go into the rooms we didn’t have the staff go and obviously we were using the same safety protocols we've always used," Goetz said.
After more than a year of precautions, Goetz is happy to see guests having a more normal stay at the estate.
"When they're here and they're enjoying their time, they really don't have, you know, it's really more like a house that they've rented for a few nights," Goetz said.
But other businesses aren't doing away with the changes now or anytime soon.
"The spacing of people six-feet apart at least, that's probably going to remain in place for at least the next six months I would imagine. The outdoor tasting is a permanent fixture as far as we're concerned at this point," said James Greenway, Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards Wine Club manager.
Greenway says the pandemic actually helped their business model.
"Absolutely it did. It actually, in a way, it forced us to reevaluate the way we were doing business and our business model for us to change a couple things. It was kind of the kick in the pants that we needed," Greenway said.
Both businesses are looking forward to seeing guests all summer long.
"Well, we are just so excited to have people back. We are having and hosting weddings, both very small, still intimate, and larger, and we're really happy to have people returning and spending time," Goetz said.