WESTLAKE, Va. – Memorial Day weekend is bringing a much-needed boost to local businesses at Smith Mountain Lake after the COVID-19 pandemic.
People at Bridgewater Plaza were greeted by a familiar set of shops, cafés and businesses eager for a busy summer.
“It’s a lot different. Last year COVID was in effect,” said Kevin Gray, the owner of Smith Mountain Lake Coffee House.
Now, Gray and other owners can welcome locals and tourists alike with a smile--a big difference from one year ago.
“It’s nice to see everyone out laughing and having fun this year,” he adds.
That includes tourists Emily Morszorek and Meagan Brown who came all the way from Tennessee.
“We were just looking for a place that had a lake,” Morszorek said. “We wanted to come north.”
“So many more people. I’m happy to see so many people out,” Brown says. “I’m happy we can go out and eat.”
Businesses around the lake, like Bridgewater Marina, are preparing for what they know will be a busy summer.
“I think it’s a COVID-safe and family-friendly activity to go out on the boat for a day,” Matt Paul with Bridgewater Marina added.