As beaches reopen, tourism on Cape Cod remains a concern

Massachusetts

FALMOUTH, MASS. (WPRI) — Beaches in Massachusetts were allowed to reopen on Monday, but like in Rhode Island, there are restrictions with limited parking and no lifeguards on duty.

Since Cape Cod beaches are not yet packed with tourists, it’s starting to take a hit on businesses there. You’d expect destinations like Old Silver Beach in Falmouth to be busy, but this Memorial Day, it looked mostly empty.

Part of the problem is that most of the Cape’s hotels and rental homes that would hold eager tourists, are closed due to coronavirus restrictions in place in the Bay State. Even though beaches are open, barriers are up in the parking lot to lower capacity and encourage social distancing.

While some Falmouth businesses remain closed, the ones that are currently open say they are struggling to get customers. Scott Ghelfi, the owner of Ghelfi’s Candies, says he relied on neighboring businesses for customers, but the start to summer on the Cape is the slowest he’s seen in decades.

“I think, normally, people would’ve been flocking to Main Street, shopping and eating, but we really didn’t see much at all,” Ghelfi said. “It’s not going to be a normal summer, but I think we’ll be OK.”

Under Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s phased reopening, hotels and other lodging is expected to reopen in Phase 2, which will be by June 8 at the earliest.

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