Restaurants, hotels, art studios, and other businesses are finding ways to make residents, as well as those visiting, feel as safe as possible.
Lincoln City has fought hard. With shutdowns, wildfires, and everything in between, it has felt never-ending. This time has been specifically trying for businesses, with nonstop changes in regulations, capacities, and fluctuating risk categories. However, what we have seen is resiliency, creativity and community.
The Bijou Theatre has been around since 1937, and Keith and Besty Altomare aren’t willing to let it end here. When everything shut down and they were not allowed to welcome moviegoers inside, they got creative. They began offering Virtual Cinema experiences, where you could rent a wide variety of movies from the comfort of your own home. And to top it off, they offered curbside pickup of their famous movie theater popcorn. They were able to bring the theater to you.
Once restrictions were lifted, they were well aware that movie theaters would not be people's first choice when trying to avoid people and the virus. They started out by purchasing an E-Mister electrostatic disinfectant sprayer. The positively charged disinfectant is attracted to negatively charged surfaces, so it's drawn to areas that have more germs on more used surfaces, in their case they noticed it drawn to the armrests! They use this twice a day after each show as well as disinfecting everything in between, like the lobby, bathroom, counters, seats, and door handles.
Only 30 of their 120 seats are being used and six feet distance between each party is enforced. There are only two showings each day, one at 2pm and the other at 7:30pm. Masks and social distancing are required and there's even a slide at the beginning of the show asking that viewers have their masks on unless eating or drinking. Employees will welcome you behind a layer of plexiglass and will retrieve your goodies/concessions masked and gloved up. You'll find a one-direction system throughout the theatre and restrooms are limited to one person at a time. There is an online reservation system so you can secure a spot or simply reserve your favorite seat. They suggest that those who are still concerned but want to visit, come mid-week when it's a little slower.
The Bijou Theatre is the only theater open within at least 100 miles of Lincoln City right now, and for good reason. They have worked hard to make their guests feel safe and offer new releases and award-winning films with the knowledge there isn’t anyone else out there to do it. But at the end of the day, if you still aren’t ready to visit, you can still enjoy their Virtual Movies, up to 10 options from all different genres and styles.
Coho Oceanfront Lodge
The Coho Oceanfront Lodge has been diligent in following the State's reopening guidelines and thoughtful in creating a space that is safe for those who come to stay. Although Lincoln Country went from extreme to high, and now to lower risk, the Coho continues to keep their recreation facilities closed, like their newly remodeled swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, and fitness room. They believe this will help keep their staff and guests safer. The breakfast area is temporarily closed for dine-in offering to-go breakfast only. While those amenities are desired, they have not seen a huge decline in visits due to their wonderful remodeled oceanfront hotel rooms. The fire pits are still lit each night and social distancing is enforced even outside. Plexiglass barriers have been installed at the front desk and a contactless check-in/check-out process is available as well as freshly sanitized room key cards. Employees take precautions very seriously and are required to wear proper PPE masks and have daily temperature checks to ensure no one is working while feeling ill. Guest rooms are rigorously sanitized and disinfected using EPA registered products. The housekeeping staff temporarily suspended ‘stay over service’ for guests who are staying more than one night in order to decrease the amount of interaction and exposure.
In addition, the Coho requires masks in all public areas and provides multiple hand sanitizer stations throughout the property. Signage at the hotel reminds you to be physically distant and abide by all safety measures in accordance with official guidance from agencies like the CDC and Oregon Health Authority. They have proven to be a reliable hotel going through all possible outlets to keep their guests, staff and community safe. When you’re ready to stay, the Coho will be there to welcome you with (physically distanced) open arms.
Lincoln City Glass Center
Like most places, the Lincoln City Glass Center requires masks in both the gallery and glassblowing spaces at all times and has multiple plexiglass barriers between the counter and guests. You'll find ropes and arrows showing you the direction you may enter and exit, which creates less congestion while enabling physical distancing.
In the past, when participating in the glassblowing process, you would be paired with a local glass artist sharing the tools and space required for each step. Now you have to observe from a safe distance, experiencing a hands-off way to blow your own float while still engaging in an educational manner. Glass Center staff realized they could not only provide a hands-off way to blow a float, they could offer other items such as a wave, a starfish, a pumpkin, a jellyfish, hearts, a trumpet flower and a few other select glass items. You still get to choose the colors, style and object that is specialized to your taste and are with the artist every step of the way.
The on-site gallery is open to purchase items but guests are required to sanitize hands before entering and items on their counters that create a lot of touch traffic have been removed. The Glass Center prides themselves in their sanitization techniques like wiping down surfaces, door handles, pens and other items that are frequently used. They are diligently abiding by capacity limitations with only 10 people allowed in the gallery at a time and eight people in the studio, all enforced by a person at the door who tracks and monitors the line. On nicer days they continue to open their big garage-style doors so you can observe the artists at work while outside.
For more information about reopening Lincoln City, visit our reopening resource page.