Tourism industry hopes to rebound after coronavirus pandemic

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LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — A multi-billion dollar local industry has been seriously damaged by the coronavirus pandemic. Tourism experts in Lancaster County say they likely lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of the shutdown caused by the pandemic.

Now areas like Cherry Crest Adventure Farm are trying to save the rest of the peak summer tourism season.

Brian Groff, the marketing director at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, told abc27 they weren’t allowed to open Memorial Day weekend because of the coronavirus pandemic. Groff said the governor’s reopening plan drove away about 75% of the business the farm would do in the spring.

“It’s slow for everybody because people are staying home to be safe,” he said.

Now that Lancaster County is in the ‘green phase’ the farm will reopen this Friday, where they hope to save what they can of the summer season.

“We have a lot of acreage here,” Groff said. “We have well over 25 acres here which allows us to have a lot of people on the farm based on the CDC guidelines.”

Edward Harris, the new president and CEO of Discover Lancaster, said he believes the tourism industry is primed for a bounce back.

“Lancaster County is a resilient place,” Harris said. “They’re actually very well positioned among the grand landscape of tourism and travel. There is the value portion where families can come here at an affordable price and still have a great experience.

The current unknown is how quickly the industry recovers because the green phase limits crowd at theaters like Sight & Sound, a major draw.

The tourism industry in Lancaster is expected to be the center piece of a hearing held on Tuesday by the Senate Majority Policy Committee, which will discuss southcentral Pennsylvania’s economy and COVID-19.

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