Two Rockbridge tourism-based businesses did well during COVID’s summer

Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 5:13 PM EDT
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ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Dinosaur Kingdom II depends a lot on tourism, and you might think a weird summer like we had would hurt it.

“But," said co-owner Mark Cline, "This is a weird attraction.”

Cline says he actually had a pretty good year.

“People have not been doing the Disney trips or the Universal Studios," he said. "They haven’t been getting on airplanes. So they’re looking for local entertainment venues to go to. So it’s actually worked out pretty well for us.”

Some new additions were already in the works, most of which were opened in the summer.

“We added a Bigfoot Shootout Show," Cline said. "We added a brand new maze, and a couple of animations and things. So we’re going forward with our attraction.”

At the Safari Park of Virginia, lockdown brought more business than they ever expected.

“We were not expecting that rush at all," said Safari Park Director Sarah Friedel. "I know we were the only attraction open that was safe, but I did not expect the influx that we we re going to get. I don’t think any of us were ready for that.”

Even on a cloudy day at season’s end, they’re seeing a steady flow of visitors.

“I thought we would die down after Labor Day," Friedel said. "But I really think because of the schooling challenges, that people are still coming out and they’re still bringing their kids here because they need something to do and this is safe and something fun.”

“The main thing is that everyone has a good time," Cline said. "But they’re safe while they’re doing it.”

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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