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Smith Mountain Lake business owners talk about their expectations for the upcoming season

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WDBJ) – As boats race through the waters of Smith Mountain Lake, people are hoping for a big splash this summer.

Many companies weren’t sure what to expect for last season, but ended up doing well.

“Last March we had really hot weather, and so with the pandemic hitting at that time, and so a lot of people started flocking to Smith Mountain Lake,” said Jessica Bishop, Ambassador of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. .

Bishop says there was enough support for some businesses to grow.

One restaurant even changed its name and owner, causing a challenge as restrictions tightened.

“Especially as new business owners, we wanted to make sure we made guests feel comfortable, staff felt safe in the work environment, and that we followed these guidelines,” said Ryan Walters. , co-owner.

Despite the challenges, Walters and co-owner Jaclyn Westfall say they did well last year.

They hope to do even better this year and fill their seats if restrictions continue to be eased.

“Last year we did well and we were very happy with what we did in the middle of a pandemic, but I think we both expect this year, especially with some of the restrictions eased. a bit, that this year will be even busier,” Westfall said.

Bishop says things will start to improve around the lake next month.

She says peak season usually occurs around July, but business can continue well into the fall.

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