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Eliminating capacity requirements could help businesses like Huntsman Tavern

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 5:33 PM PDT
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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - “It’s been a roller coaster,” said Huntsman Tavern co-owner, Kyle McDermaid, on navigating the Coronavirus pandemic.

But that roller coaster ride could soon be coming to an end.

“Most people are coming in here to get away from their problems, or just have a good time and socialize and that has been taboo up until now,” McDermaid said.

Since the pandemic started McDermaid and his staff at Huntsman Tavern in Sparks have gone from serving food to stay open, to adapting to multiple capacity requirements, to taking reservations. Communicating compliancy guidelines with customers has been key. Moving bar stools to create more social distancing has been necessary. There was even outdoor seating when the weather was nice.

Despite all the obstacles thrown their way, the staff at Huntsman Tavern has been able to keep the doors open.

“We were lucky to expand in January of 2020 right before the pandemic hit,” said McDermaid. “That got our capacity up from 50 to 100. With the lower capacity numbers we’ve still been able to stay afloat.”

Now the tavern might have a chance to really prosper.

Governor Steve Sisolak says he will remove capacity restrictions on May 1. Places open up to 100% capacity by June 1.

“That is going to change a lot of things for people who I think have decided not to come out at all and won’t until they’re comfortable and vaccinated or until those numbers are up,” McDermaid said.

The change could lead to more people frequenting establishments, more money being spent, and therefore more opportunity.

Governor Sisolak’s mask mandate is still in effect until further notice.

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