Medora businesses prepare for anticipated busy summer

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 1:00 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Many businesses saw a drop in sales and some had to close their doors in the midst of the pandemic.

However, the opposite was seen in small town Medora, as tourists continued to flood the attraction last summer.

Despite entertainment cancelations, limited capacities and mask requirements; small businesses in Medora thrived last summer and they only expect it to get busier as COVID-19 restrictions continue to be lifted.

The famous Boots Bar & Grill was forced to close for a month last summer, before re-opening with limited capacity.

That didn’t stop the drinks from being poured and food coming out of the kitchen.

“We had just about as much traffic as we usually do in Medora,” said manager Jake Michaels.

The only shortfall the restaurant had was a shortage of staff.

“We depend on J-1 students and international travelers. And last year we weren’t able to get anyone,” said Michaels.

Michaels said the restaurant hired locally and is having a successful year.

So successful, they may not have to close their doors when the summer tourist season ends.

“We might even stay open the full winter. If we have staff here, we’re going to stay open,” said Michaels.

Across town, a new boutique opened shop in the middle of the pandemic.

“While others were more like ‘oh my gosh what are we expecting for numbers, is Medora going to be able to be open?’ I was like, ‘okay we’re open’ and I didn’t know what to expect,” said Bar Diamond Bar owner Jordan Morin.

Morin said her first year was a success, and she’s been keeping her shelves stocked for the upcoming season.

“I think that it is going to be insanely busy. That’s what I’m gearing up for, I’ve been gearing up for it since February,” said Morin.

The rest of the town is preparing too, as tourists are expected to begin riding into town starting with the Memorial Day weekend.

Many of the shops in Medora are open now, but opening weekend is scheduled to begin on June 9th.

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