“We went into emergency mode, and all of a sudden the phone stopped ringing, no more reservations,” said Gary Thornquist, the park’s general manager for more than 30 years. “It is very concerning when a business with that kind of foundation gets shaken like this, and all of a sudden, you have to envision what it’s going to be like after.”
Thornquist, who first started working at the business when he was a teenager, says the longer the statewide shutdown lasts, the more worried leaders in the Lake George tourism industry become about their future.
“Our most important concern is preserving the summer season,” Thornquist said. “July and August are our biggest part. If we lose that, that is everything to us.”
Thornquist is one of more than a dozen members of a new coalition that’s working to develop a plan to eventually reopen the economy safely. The group of business leaders held its first virtual meeting Monday morning.
“We don’t want to wait until somebody asks us to come up with a plan, we want to present a plan right away,” Thornquist said.
“We need to get this right for our own economy, for our health and well-being,” Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Gina Mintzer said. “Our economy, our county, runs on tourism.”
Mintzer, who is a member of the commission, said the group is working to come up with uniform policies on a number of issues, including social distancing and keeping businesses clean.
“We want you to feel safe and have that expectation anywhere you go in and around the area,” she said.