PALISADE, Colo. — There have been so many setbacks for Palisade businesses this year; that is the COVID-19 pandemic, the wildfires, and now the cancellation of the Colorado Mountain Winefest. Palisade wineries say they are worried for this weekend since less people are visiting the vineyards, but there are still people coming, and some need rides to the wineries. Therefore, local transportation companies, such as Palisade Pedicab, Pali Tours, and Rapid Creek Cycles, say their businesses will be booming this weekend.
Mark Williams, owner of Palisade Pedicab, says, “overall, it’s still going to be a really busy weekend. I mean they canceled the festival, but it seems like everyone is still coming to town, so we are doing about twice as much business this weekend than last weekend.”
The Winefest cancellation is not stopping the success of these smaller businesses. Dave Smith, owner of Pali Tours, says his ride is sold out this weekend. And Rondo Buecheler, co-owner of Rapid Creek Cycles, also says,”we sell anywhere from 10 to 20 bikes on weekdays, and up to 80 bikes on the weekend.”
Buecheler adds, “this year with the ‘unwinefest’ weekend, we are having one of our better weekends of the year, which is good. It helps make up for the slowness during the week and early on in the season.”
This “slowness” Buecheler is referring to is about the countless challenges local businesses have endured throughout 2020. For instance, Williams says, “I’m still only doing half as much as I would be normally, so this winter is going to be rough.”
Therefore, businesses are counting on this weekend to make the big bucks.
In addition, each business says they are COVID-friendly. So, besides face coverings and constant sanitation, only one group can book the rides at a time.