Blaine County preparing for summer tourism

Posted at 1:01 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 15:23:46-04

BLAINE COUNTY, Idaho — Blaine County is preparing for the summer recreation season!

County leaders say there are still a few unknowns, but they're already taking precautions to make sure it's safe for visitors.

"We're welcoming visitors, but we're also educating visitors to make sure that we keep everyone safe around us," said Mayor Neil Bradshaw with the City of Ketchum.

The Wood River Valley is famous for its winter recreation, especially in cities like Sun Valley. The season was cut short this year because of the virus.

"Now, of course, people are excited, they see we don't have those cases," Bradshaw said. "They're excited to see the sun break out and the snow melt and the rivers and the mountains are what they always are: a great attraction to our visitors."

The summer season in Blaine County usually kicks off around late May and early June.

"Definitely expecting to see more people enjoying the great outdoors and camping, you know, whether hotels do as well remains to be seen," Bradshaw said.

Businesses in the area are gearing up to see lots of visitors this summer, but they're taking coronavirus precuations very seriously, according to Bradshaw.

"They want to make sure that people feel safe. They want to make sure the residents feel safe, that the visitors feel safe. For sure we will have visitors, and they are most welcome here," Bradshaw explained.

Many summer events in the area have been canceled, but Bradshaw says there's still plenty to do. He also says it's likely the community will come up with creative new ways to safely enjoy the valley.

"The gatherings may not happen, but the smiles will come in other ways. We'll be closing down streets, we'll be facilitating outdoor dining, we'll be encouraging people to bring a picnic for Wagon Days," Bradshaw said. "Necessity is a mother of invention, and I suspect many ideas will emerge that will far outlast this pandemic."