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Missoula businesses look forward to summer revenue

Group events return to the Garden City
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Posted at 1:59 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 17:07:40-04

MISSOULA — After a year of the pandemic, and many canceled events last summer, people are starting to get vaccinated, and the weather is warming up.

That's leaving us Missoulians itching to get back outside.

The good news as people look ahead to the summer, is there will be plenty of opportunities to gather at Cara's Park.

"People that are very very anxious to get back together and see their friends and family who they've not hung out with very much over the last year. They want to get back to Cara's Park. Cara's Park is our town square, it's where our community comes together, and we've been missing that terribly," said Kristin Sackett with the Missoula Downtown Partnership.

Sackett says Out to Lunch, Downtown Tonight, and other summer events will make a return.

"Our hope is to under promise, over deliver," said Sackett.

They don't want people to be disappointed, but they are busy planning events.

"What that looks like, not fully vetted out, but most likely slightly smaller versions," said Sackett.

Like smaller bands and waiting to start kids activities.

"We're trying to scale down for now, with the hope that we'll be able to scale up as things look better and better for our community," said Sackett.

Health officials are discussing canceling group size restrictions, as soon as we can get more people vaccinated, and for businesses, they look forward to the summer months.

"We've gotta get some more tables and chairs in here," said Highlander General Mannager Hannah Talbott.

That means more customers.

Highlander says the summer months are their busiest time of year.

"We see so many tourists come through here, especially up on North Reserve with all the hotels. We get a ton of people come in here that are just traveling through the state," said Talbott.

Talbott says they weren't able to use their outdoor events pavillion last year.

But already this year- groups have it booked.

And they're planning events too.

"We have some workout classes that we're hoping to do. We have some trivia nights that we have planned. We're hoping to kind of get back to normal. Some live music, a lot of in house normal events like that," said Talbott.

Back to normal. Missoula's hope from all downtown to North Reserve.

Sackett says things won't be quite as they were two years ago, but maybe we can come close.