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Pandemic forces Bozeman businesses to adapt, think beyond summer tourism season

Posted at 2:15 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 16:15:33-04

If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught all of us, it’s how to adapt.

“I feel like every day was outside the box. So, when it first hit we just met in this room every single day and we were like how to navigate this,” said Les Gunderson.

Gunderson is the chief operating officer at the Montana Gift Corral and like so many other businesses, she’s had to constantly think of new ways to keep her business going during this pandemic.

“And make changes on a daily basis. You know it’s probably the most stressful thing I’ve gone through professionally,” she said.

But thankfully, for the gift shop, one thing has been helping them out tremendously.

“The tourists are coming here. Some people say it’s a mixed blessing. But it is safe here. Our numbers are… While they look like they’re exploding, they’re not exploding like other areas,” Gunderson explained.

But what is the plan for after the summer tourism season?

“Everyday you’re just constantly tacking and letting the numbers dictate where you go next,” she explained.

And it’s all about changing.

“We listen to absolutely every idea in the building. The whole team is coming up with things, everything from free delivery. We just had a manager write can we offer five percent off to everybody who wears a mask in. So, you know that whatever is, it’s constantly adapting,” Gunderson said.

Right now a lot of businesses are stuck in between planning ahead or taking it day-by-day.

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