Two Harbors Tourism Going Strong During Pandemic
TWO HARBORS, Minn.– At the halfway point of summer, it has been different for tourism communities like Two Harbors.
As the pandemic continues, businesses are trying to find the right balance of staying busy and keeping tourists and locals healthy.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at the beginning of summer, people in the Two Harbors community didn’t know what to expect this summer. Now in late July, the tourism industry has been going strong.
“We were really worried,” said Lake County Chamber of Commerce President Janelle Jones. “Nobody knew what was going to happen. Then June came and things started to life a little bit.”
When COVID-19 restrictions were loosened earlier this summer, people rushed to get up to the North Shore.
People are staying close to home instead of making cross-country trips. While out of state numbers are down, in-state tourism has jumped up. Jones says people have been coming up from areas like the Twin Cities and more to enjoy the area.
“It’s been kinda fun, sometimes it’s people that have never been up here. So it’s giving people a good excuse to take a ride to something that’s right in their own backyard, that they haven’t always taken the time to go and check out,” said Jones. “So we’re very happy to see these people showing up.”
While the town is excited to see the tourism, the chamber is encouraging people to enjoy the space, like the shores of agate bay.
The Farquharson family from Cambridge, Minnesota wasn’t able to make their usual month-long North Shore vacation. But they are glad to still be able to enjoy the trails and shores of Two Harbors and were surprised at how busy it’s been.
“Things wouldn’t be open and that kind of stuff so we’re going like ‘what’s the point?’ Then we did a day trip up here and we’re saying, ‘Oh, more things are open then we thought,’” said Steve Farquharson.
“There’s still plenty of people coming up and visiting, which is great to see,” said Eric Farquharson.
One of those businesses is Lou’s Fish House, selling smoked fish, cheese, and ice cream. Owner Ashleigh Swanson is 18 years old and is already in her third summer of running the store.
The shutdowns from the pandemic pushed their summer opening to late May but Swanson says she’s been just as busy as previous summers as she works to get Lou’s off the ground.
“It’s awesome being open again because we love all of our customers and we love people coming up to the north shore and seeing us and visiting with us and just having a good time,” said Swanson.