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Mon May 25, 2020, 03:50 PM

Oregon coastal towns not ready for a lot of Memorial Day visitors

While the coronavirus pandemic makes this Memorial Day weekend feel much different than in years past, the unofficial kick-off to summer has surely inspired many Oregonians to get out and about.

In Oregon, 33 counties are now in Phase 1 of reopening, including the state's coastal communities. Normally, those towns would be bustling with tourists on a holiday weekend. But this year, they're not ready to host a large number of people just yet.

The transition to Phase 1 of reopening can be good for local business owners, but some business owners said they're concerned that too many tourists will head to the coast this holiday weekend. It's been packed in Seaside this weekend, with no parking spaces on the street and a lot of people walking around.

"The parking lot next to our convention center is packed," said Allie Kloster, who owns Seaside Yarn and Fiber. "You're seeing a lot of families in town. People are excited to get back on the beach. On the beach, people are social distancing. Everyone in our store so far has been very respective of the rules [for social distancing]."

It was a different, less hectic scene in Astoria. We caught up with Bruce Jones, the mayor of Astoria, who said it's been a light Memorial Day weekend so far. He said he's grateful.

"It's a little too early to welcome out-of-town guests," Jones said. "[We're] looking forward to welcoming visitors when we go to Phase 2, which should be in about 12 days."


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