A socially distant Memorial Day: Cape businesses struggling with lack of tourism during busiest season

A socially distant Memorial Day: Cape businesses struggling with lack of tourism during busiest season

BOSTON — Memorial Day weekend on Cape Cod will look much different this year.

With no crowds, the hardest hit will be those business owners who rely on the holiday weekend to bring in customers who kick start their season.

“It’s been very difficult, I’m not going to lie," said Macheras, the owner of The Silver Seahorse in Hyannis.

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Macheras said she was optimistic her doors would open this week, ahead of a weekend that would typically mean big sales. But, her anticipated opening will have to wait.

“It is disappointing, it’s difficult to swallow," said Macheras. “This is our bread and butter, this time of year for us, we are open year-round, but we really do a lot in the summer with the influx of people here.”

The Silver Seahorse has been closed since March, Macheras said they’ve turned to online sales, but she said business is down nearly 95%.

“I’m not going to lie, I cried a little," said Macheras. “I cried when I found out we won’t be able to open. But, I was like, okay, let’s make the best of it and see what I can do and try to think outside the box and get more creative to think of a way to survive.”

Macheras is discovering ways to ensure customers can shop safely once she can allow them inside, meantime, Smitty’s ice cream in Falmouth is doing the same, but outdoors.

Smitty’s has made adjustments to their locations to make sure people can purchase their ice cream efficiently.

“There’s a door here, we’ve converted that into a takeout window, an ordering window, so the customer can actually come up here and order at the door," said Richard Smith, the owner of Smitty’s Homemade Ice Cream. “There’s a computer program where we take the order and send it over to the other side.”

Unlike retail stores, Smitty’s Ice Cream is essential and can be open. Owner Richard Smith said business has been steady, but he’s preparing for a possibly quiet weekend, limiting his staff and menu to keep things quick and safe.

“We’d like to see the crowds but we’re now sure right now if we’re going to see them the way things are,” said Smith.

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