Catalina Island enterprise house owners hopeful as guests begin returning to vacationer spot

AVALON, California (KABC) – Catalina Island is one of the few places in Southern California where you have to get on a boat to get there. However, this does not prevent visitors from returning after the store reopens.

The island’s economy is largely dependent on tourism. Given the declining coronavirus cases in the region, companies there hope that visitor numbers will increase.

Restaurants and shops are still only allowed to be 25% busy, but these restrictions don’t hinder visitors.

“It’s just very nice to be here, even in the middle of the pandemic, we escape and enjoy the sunshine,” said Samantha Tuten.

Hotel stays are only around 50% of normal, but business owners hope the situation will improve.

“Some of the landlords were good and took a little break to make it through, but it is definitely a drain and we are definitely negative, we look forward to many visitors this weekend and hopefully a lot more in the future,” said Jerry Dunn.

The jeep tours sold out last weekend, according to the Catalina Island Conservancy, but Tim Kilpinski says all touring vehicles are refurbished after each use and all remain masked.

While the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s dashboard says there have only been 14 COVID-19 cases in the city of Avalon since the pandemic began. But the people who live there have concerns.

“We really appreciate it when tourists wear their masks and practice social distancing. For the most part, many do, but some don’t,” said Lindsay Mattingly.

“The more tourists we have, the more dangerous it is,” added Ellen Bay.

While there are obviously still risks, the fact that tourists are returning to the island hopes this is a sign that life is getting back to normal.

“It’s a godsend,” said Jim Luttjohann from “We were close to the end of many people’s ropes and we’re really excited to see the public coming back.”

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