Downtown businesses see surge for Labor Day weekend

ByWTOC Staff|September 6, 2020 at 6:46 PM EDT - Updated September 7 at 12:09 AM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Savannah is hustling and bustling with people who are celebrating their Labor Day weekend.

“The week earlier was not very busy, but starting Thursday night into about Friday and Saturday the foot traffic did pick up,” said Trisha Drake at the Shrimp Factory. “Quite a few people I was actually shocked.”

Employees at the Bohemian Hotel say they’ve had a great turnout for the weekend and have been extremely busy since Friday.

Both places say their customer volume has been pretty close to the same as last year. The pandemic was something they thought might have had an impact on their business this weekend.

“With the laws and the masks, having to wear the masks, we just assumed that that would kind of slow people down but it didn’t stop the progress at all,” said Drake. “People continue to come.”

The Bohemian Hotel’s Director of Food and Beverage Chris Figiel says the hotel is almost completely booked. In order to be safe, the capacity on their rooftop bar is 100 people instead of 300. All-day, Fiegiel says they stayed at full capacity.

Restaurants say they were also prepared for any crowds, big or small, to roll in.

“Making sure we are properly equipped with sanitizer, masks and disinfectant so that we can make sure it’s safe and clean for the guests that do choose to dine with us”

In fact, The Shrimp Factory management says their sales on Saturday were higher than their sales on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend last year.

While the crowds have taken to Savannah for the holiday, hotels, bars and restaurants are still trying to do their part to make sure they can keep everyone safe. In comparison to last year, the Bohemian Hotel’s director of food and beverage says the crowd is a little less than normal, but it’s close for a typical Labor Day weekend.

The hotel is handling the crowd in a safe way by requiring face masks, limiting capacity in their dining and rooftop bar areas, and doing additional overnight and daytime cleaning. Hotel personnel says they’ve been at capacity all day as people enjoy the nice weather, food, and drinks.

“The goal is to keep everybody safe, so our capacity is one-third of what it would normally be,” said Chris Figiel, director of food and beverage at The Bohemian. “The capacity for the rooftop would normally be 300, we’re limiting it to just 100 people. We anticipated this because we did see the pick up for the rooms, but we’re happy that we have the business and happy that we’re doing everything we can to make sure it’s a safe, enjoyable experience for everybody.”

For the weekend, the hotel is almost completely booked. The hotel staff expects the crowds through Monday.

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Photo: WTOC

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