WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - One month after Governor Abbott reopened the state, businesses in Wichita Falls are seeing a spike in customers.
“Absolutely, we’ve had an uptick in traffic, an uptick in business,” Kelly Jackson, a vendor at Alley Cat Vintage Mercantile, said.
In early March, Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-34 allowed every business to operate at 100% capacity and lifted the statewide mask mandate.
“We are seeing a lot of younger people coming in than we have seen in the past, we are seeing tons of repeat customers that we’ve enjoyed over the last few years, we are seeing a lot of new faces that are asking a lot of new questions,” Jackson said.
Bars are seeing more customers too.
“Since he has lifted it, I would say absolutely, we are starting to see more and more people coming out,” Stacy Hawkins, owner of The Broken Tap Bar, said. “I would say I’m seeing more familiar faces that I haven’t seen in probably a year, year and a half, since before COVID hit.”
Bars were some of the hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions.
“It feels good, things feel normal again, business has picked back up, it’s really good,” Hawkins said.
The feeling’s the same across the entire downtown. Late night and weekend crowds are returning plus events like Art Walk and Cajun Fest have planned their return after a year like no other.
“When you go to the restaurants at lunch time you are seeing them fill back up. I personally play music in a lot of local restaurants and I’m seeing the crowds grow and we are starting to do a lot more outdoor shows which makes people feel even safer coming in,” Jackson said.