ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) – The crowds are back at the Natural Bridge, though they’ve never been anywhere.
“From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Saturdays and Sundays are the most popular times,” said Jim Jones, park superintendent.
Being an outdoor attraction meant they didn’t have to close during last year’s lockdown, and that was a big plus.
“Our top five earning days have come since 2020,” Jones explained.
Including Labor Day last year, bringing in just under $ 30,000.
“That’s a lot of people,” Jones said. “That’s a lot of people. “
At Virginia Safari Park, a few miles down the road, the COVID crowds have retreated to Interstate 81.
Today, even if it’s not that crazy, they are still standing.
“I think actually last year I think it helped get our name known to a lot of people who didn’t really know we were here,” said Sarah Friedel, director of Safari Park.
And having all of this new stuff has allowed them to make some improvements and add attractions.
“It certainly gave us a lot of opportunities for us to develop and grow here,” she said.
“People are looking for adventure when they hit the road these days,” said Mark Cline.
And that’s what it’s all about in Cline’s Dinosaur Kingdom II.
“People in the tourism industry, we have to start seeing this as an entertainment business,” he said, “because the face of tourism has changed and has become more than that. “
Something that even in a natural wonder like Natural Bridge they worked on.
“It’s the everyday things that happen, these pleasant surprises that the head of the visiting ranger experiences,” Jones said. “It’s the decoration that is on the cake, the perfect place that really gives people something to see when they come to visit us.”
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