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Tourist season is here for Clear Lake

From busy beaches to busy restaurants and businesses, this past weekend was perfect for visitors coming to North Iowa

Posted: Jun 9, 2020 2:15 AM
Updated: Jun 9, 2020 7:01 AM

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - Hot weather often leaves many of us looking for ways to cool off. And with pools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, for some, it means a trip to the lake.

Now with restrictions being eased across the country, are people rushing out to soak up the sun? In Clear Lake, that answer is yes.

Iowa DNR park ranger Josh Rembe has been working through one of the busiest weekends he's seen. Because of the crowds, and the need to keep everything running, clean and in stock, seasonal staffing schedules have had to be adjusted.

"The campgrounds have been full for the last two weekends. Since Memorial Day weekend kicked off, we've been full. The biggest change we've seen is the increase in the beach use. With the pools closed and no kids sports right now, we're seeing a ton of families and people coming from not just the area, but also from Des Moines, Omaha. I've had a lot of people from Minnesota coming down. The beach this weekend looked like the 4th of July crowd we typically see, which is probably double than the normal crowd."

While social distancing is starting to become old for many, Rembe notes of some distancing along the beach.

"On the beach, you can see people kinda staying away each other, families are together of course, but in terms of being packed together, you can tell I think people are making a conscious effort to stay apart from those they don't know."

All in all, Rembe notes the need for many families to just get outside again.

"With not a lot going on, they are reaching for the outdoors. People are biking, walking, enjoying the beach, picnic areas. It's really good to see. Our biggest issue we're facing right now is parking. We don't have a lot of places for people to park."

On the South Shore of Clear Lake, Cris Brager with PM Park and Tiki Bar has also seen a busy weekend. 

"It's probably been the best weather we've had this season. On top of that when we're at 50% occupancy, we have a lot of guests that have to wait, and they are more than willing to wait."

Inside and out, tables are being spaced out, as well as being cleaned and disinfected each time. In addition, to ensure patron and staff safety, staffers have undergone food handling and management, and COVID courses. Also, their Sunday morning breakfast buffet has been cancelled for now. Despite these changes, guests have made it a point to come in.

"Probably the best part of the whole stay at home thing was they realized how much they like restaurants, and they're appreciative of us being to be able to be open."

Brager also owns the Sweet Spot, just up the road from PM Park. Business there has also been positive.

"Apparently, ice cream must be a COVID comfort food!"

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 544046

Reported Deaths: 7037
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1133801672
Ramsey46957847
Dakota41493415
Anoka37550413
Washington24418273
Stearns20651216
St. Louis16500296
Scott15592116
Wright14440124
Olmsted1260496
Sherburne1031779
Carver956143
Clay769089
Rice7454101
Blue Earth682140
Kandiyohi621879
Crow Wing596486
Chisago539948
Otter Tail535173
Benton521396
Mower447732
Winona435749
Douglas434270
Goodhue431971
Nobles396848
Morrison386359
McLeod383254
Beltrami366957
Isanti363959
Itasca359451
Polk359466
Steele349714
Becker346548
Lyon343748
Carlton324352
Freeborn321729
Pine306521
Nicollet300742
Brown291239
Mille Lacs272548
Le Sueur266222
Todd265830
Cass243826
Meeker229337
Waseca227820
Martin209729
Wabasha19803
Roseau194718
Hubbard168541
Renville168543
Dodge16834
Redwood163935
Houston161814
Cottonwood152520
Fillmore15089
Pennington148719
Chippewa143736
Faribault141819
Wadena141221
Sibley133210
Aitkin127436
Kanabec126121
Watonwan12439
Rock121218
Jackson114710
Yellow Medicine109019
Pipestone107525
Murray10169
Pope9936
Swift97718
Marshall84117
Stevens79610
Lake77819
Wilkin75812
Clearwater75614
Koochiching75612
Lac qui Parle73122
Big Stone5544
Lincoln5542
Grant5398
Norman5139
Mahnomen4898
Unassigned48778
Kittson44922
Red Lake3817
Traverse3595
Lake of the Woods2962
Cook1440

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 355246

Reported Deaths: 5797
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55552598
Linn20170329
Scott18763234
Black Hawk15468306
Woodbury14792219
Johnson1387680
Dubuque13035202
Dallas1082796
Pottawattamie10627160
Story1024647
Warren549086
Clinton531989
Cerro Gordo519386
Webster506191
Sioux503473
Marshall476274
Muscatine455096
Des Moines439365
Wapello4246120
Buena Vista421240
Jasper406670
Plymouth394179
Lee366855
Marion353975
Jones292355
Henry285537
Bremer278260
Carroll277750
Crawford261739
Boone256331
Benton249155
Washington248249
Dickinson238743
Mahaska223449
Jackson217242
Kossuth211561
Clay208625
Tama206371
Delaware201039
Winneshiek192633
Page189320
Buchanan187331
Cedar182723
Fayette182641
Wright178835
Hardin178742
Hamilton177049
Harrison174673
Clayton165455
Butler161834
Mills157520
Cherokee156438
Floyd154542
Lyon153641
Madison152219
Poweshiek152133
Allamakee149051
Iowa144824
Hancock142734
Winnebago135331
Grundy134732
Cass133954
Calhoun133011
Jefferson130535
Emmet127340
Shelby126637
Appanoose126247
Louisa126049
Sac125819
Mitchell125241
Union123732
Chickasaw122015
Humboldt117926
Guthrie116828
Franklin112421
Palo Alto109622
Howard102622
Unassigned10040
Montgomery99737
Clarke98023
Keokuk94330
Monroe93228
Ida88533
Adair84032
Pocahontas83021
Monona80430
Davis79824
Greene76310
Lucas74822
Osceola73816
Worth7018
Taylor65012
Fremont60410
Decatur5899
Van Buren55318
Ringgold53322
Wayne51823
Audubon4929
Adams3264
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