‘I was pleasantly surprised’ | Greensboro business owners excited to welcome more customers as capacity restrictions ease Friday
Gov. Roy Cooper announced starting Friday, several businesses will be able to expand capacity, in light of stabilizing COVID-19 trends.
Carolina Theater Executive Director Brian Gray is already thinking ahead to how they’ll welcome more people into the venue after Governor Roy Cooper announced restrictions will ease for many businesses Friday.
Indoor businesses, like movie theaters and bars, will be able to open at 30 percent capacity with a cap of 250 people starting Friday at 5 p.m.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” said Gray.
Gray said the theater scaled back on showings and events in light of the spike in COVID-19 numbers over the holidays.
“The numbers were heading in the wrong direction in January so we took a pause but we are cautiously optimistic that we can start reprogramming and kind of ramp up a little bit,” said Gray.
He said they’re already looking at plans to welcome more people to their venues, but that planning takes time.
“We have to plan, we have to program, we have to advertise so we can sell the tickets and staff it,” he said.
It’s unclear what this announcement means for the future of larger venues in Greensboro.
The Coliseum is waiting to hear from the ACC about attendance levels for next month’s basketball tournaments.
The Tanger Center would have to operate under the 30 percent rule since it seats under 5,000 people. The opening date for the brand new building is still yet to be announced.
Despite the unknowns, Greensboro Chamber of Commerce President Brent Christensen says this foot forward is a move businesses are ready for.
“For many businesses, this is a welcome step to getting back to normal as best we can,” he said, “We at the Greensboro chamber have been talking to our business community for about a year now about the impacts of this virus on their businesses and how to operate safely.”
After a dark year that left some unsure if they’d make it, the future, for many, is finally looking bright again.
“We’re looking at the light at the end of the tunnel and it got even closer today,” Christensen said.
Gray said they’ll be planning wisely over the next few weeks, in case trends go back in the wrong direction.