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Kingston waterfront company pleased to open for season as restrictions lift

Click to play video: 'Outdoor businesses continue to open including Kingston waterfront location.' Outdoor businesses continue to open including Kingston waterfront location.
Loosening restrictions is good news for Kingston waterfront equipment rental location – May 23, 2021

The gradual reopening plan for the province means different things to different people.

Ontario has loosened some restrictions around outdoor activities, and while golf courses and skate parks opened on Saturday, more businesses, including one in Kingston, were able to open their doors on Sunday.

Whether it’s arranging his signage or getting this year’s staff acclimatized, it was a busy morning for Andrew Kelm. He runs Ahoy Rentals, a waterfront rental equipment location.

“We weren’t expecting to open this weekend — we were under the impression, as was everyone, that the May long weekend would remain locked down.”

Click to play video: 'Prince Edward County prepares for influx of tourists after “overwhelming” 2020 summer' Prince Edward County prepares for influx of tourists after “overwhelming” 2020 summer
Prince Edward County prepares for influx of tourists after “overwhelming” 2020 summer – May 18, 2021

Kelm says despite the surprise announcement and Sunday rush, they’re ready to go. In fact, he says for him, it’s a case of one year older — one year COVID-wiser.

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“Last year was a lot of uncertainty — cause we didn’t know what was going to happen. We got through the whole summer and very unexpectedly the demand was pent-up, people wanted to get outside — so I think we’re expecting that again this year,” he said.

“So in a lot of respects, we’re actually more prepared because we know what to expect.”

And while Kelm is obviously happy to be open, as a tourism team player, he also worries about others.

“We’re all in this together, right? I really do hope that the other local businesses, like restaurants and hotels, can get going because — yeah sure, I can open, but if there are no tourists coming to town to be able to eat out, stay overnight, then it kind of affects everyone. Tourism is everyone’s business — we’re all in this together.”

Click to play video: 'Provincial money aimed to benefit small business and the tourist sector  both struggling to recover from the pandemic' Provincial money aimed to benefit small business and the tourist sector both struggling to recover from the pandemic
Provincial money aimed to benefit small business and the tourist sector both struggling to recover from the pandemic – Mar 29, 2021

Pre-pandemic, tourism pumped over half a billion dollars into the Kingston economy every year.

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