GARDEN CITY – It’s not even the weekend, but local drive-ins in Garden City have folks lined up at the windows to get a raspberry shake.
Tami Leonhardt, the director of the Bear Lake Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, is planning on the usual crowds of people coming to Bear Lake this season, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Earlier we did have people come from out of the area and stay up here to wait things out,” she said. ”This weekend should give us an idea of just how the rest of the summer will go.”
The Beat Lake area has a variety of activities people can experience if they are looking for a place to spend a weekend or longer.
“There are a lot of things people can do up here, besides spending time on the beach,” she said. “There are hiking, biking and ATV trails people can use.”
The area has a variety of rental businesses visitors can take advantage of while staying in the area.
“There are boat, jet ski, kayak and paddle board rentals,” Leonhardt said. “There are bike and ATV rentals. If you can name it, they probably have it to rent.”
When the pandemic first broke, people came to Bear Lake to get away from people, but the longer it went on, people decided to leave. Now, things are picking up for the warm spring and summer weather she said.
“That’s how it was then, people came here to wait it out, to self-isolate. Now people are going to the stores, camping or just getting out,” she said. “We are open for business.”
She said Bridgerland Adventure Park and Bear Lake Renegade Raceway Go-Karts have been a good addition to the region’s activities. Bridgerland is shooting for a June 1st opening.
She hopes visitors who come to Bear Lake will respect others by practicing social distancing and staying six feet away. Everyone is encouraged to wear a mask and gloves.
Ajay Salvesen, marketing and public relations director for Bridgerland Adventure Park, said they added two ziplines that are 410 feet long and 50 feet off the ground.
“The zip lines can get up to 30 miles an hour,” he said. “It is a real adrenaline rush.”
Salvesen said the ziplines were built by a team that did their homework. Safety was their top priority.
Patrick Bentley, the Challenge Course manager, said the events this year grew from nine last year to 24 this year. He expects the park to grow to 60 plus events in the future.
“We had eight facilitators last year. This year, we are going to have 29 facilitators at the different events,” he said. “I put them through a pretty hard interview process and they have to pass both a written and practical test before they can work on the course.”
The coronavirus pandemic has taken some of the air out of Bear Lake Raspberry Days 2020, scheduled for Aug 6-8. Many events have been canceled or postponed until further notice. Updated Raspberry Days information will be posted on their website https://bearlake.org/event/bear-lake-raspberry-days