Altus business owners react to new pandemic regulations

Altus business owners react to new pandemic regulations

ALTUS Okla. (TNN) - New coronavirus regulations are now in effect in the City of Altus.

As of Wednesday morning, everyone in Altus is required to wear some kind of face-covering while in public. In addition, restaurants can only be open at 50-percent capacity. For bars, it’s actually 25-percent capacity, with a requirement to close at 10 p.m. As you can expect, it’s been a split reaction to those changes.

“We understand right now, times are definitely contentious but we’re willing to do whatever we need to do to preserve the health and safety in our community. Anything Altus tells us to do, we’re happy to continue to do that,” said Ryan McKenzie, manager at Whirlwind Book Bar.

“We need to do it but I’m having a little trouble with the closing at 10. If you cut our occupancy down to 25 percent, who cares what time. I think that cured it right there. And I’m not too crazy about the masks because I’m not too sure they actually work,” said Danny LaMunyon, owner of Joe Dan’s Dance Hall and Saloon.

“I think it’s a great idea. It gives people a peace of mind, one more protection we can use instead of just social distance, that’s hard to do sometimes. I think this gives people a peace of mind, a sense of safety, but we still have to be washing our hands, making sure everything is clean,” said Scot Simco, owner of Val’s It’s About That Time Restaurant and Pub.

Whether they like the rules or not, everyone agrees they will likely have an impact on business.

“It already has. Our lunch was down 50 percent today. It’s going to have an impact. I hope though people will see people being proactive and table settings are far away, people are wearing masks. I think people will start coming back out and getting used to it,” Simco said.

“Obviously there won’t be as much foot traffic, and we depend on good foot traffic and word of mouth. But I don’t think so as long as people understand the value of what we do in the community here and people are still willing to patronize our business,” McKenzie said.

“It’ll probably close me up if I don’t get some help. It’s very frustrating. I know, I understand it happens, but it’s sure hard to make it as a small business. Your bills keep coming in, they don’t stop, they don’t know there’s a pandemic,” said LaMunyon

Others 7NEWS spoke with who didn’t wish to go on camera expressed concern over bartenders still being able to make enough money to support their families despite losing some of the busiest hours of the day.

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