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New restrictions on Sierra businesses as virus rages

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 5:07 PM PST
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TRUCKEE, Calif. (KOLO) - With the holidays approaching and snow gathering on the slopes the weeks ahead are traditionally busy ones in the town of Truckee, as crowds of visitors flock to the Sierra.

Today the Truckee Visitors’ website still puts out the welcome sign alongside the news that Nevada County has now been moved into the purple tier as a response to the virus. And, it notes, restaurants and breweries are open for outdoor service only.

That’s harder to pull off here in the Sierra with winter on the way.

“We can accommodate guests outside, but with the weather turning colder it provides a lot of challenges,” says Chris Barkman, owner of Uncorked Wine Bar in downtown Truckee, “and obviously if we pour wine it has to be accompanied by food.”

Out on Truckee’s main drag, you can see evidence of local businesses doing their best to adapt. Outdoor seating on the sidewalk and street, some of it behind recently built shelters with heaters.

It’s just the latest in a long list of accommodations they’ve made trying to survive in what they say has seemed like a constantly changing climate of restrictions.

“Additional outdoor seating which you have to buy. Additional tables. It’s a lot of...as you run your business there’s extra steps and moving parts that you have to do to keep running your business,” says Barkman.

His business--he has three other locations in the Tahoe Truckee area--has one advantage others may lack. It’s also a retail wine shop. You can still come inside--social distance allowing--buy a bottle and take it with you, but he says the weeks ahead will be tough and frustrating.

“There are seventeen boxes that we have to check to move forward, but yet we can get rolled back with no questions or consequences. It’s been a hard situation to accept.”

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