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Much of Mid-Missouri entertainment business still closed amid COVID-19 slowdown

Even after the state's reopening last month, much of Mid-Missouri's entertainment business has remained closed.

Amy Schneider, director of the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that with parts of the entertainment industry remaining closed other businesses are continuing to see an effect on their revenue.

"As any businesses close, businesses within the perimeter that people might be attending, like if you're going to a movie or you are going to a concert, you might be spending the night, or maybe you are eating out somewhere, or going to get a drink, so it obviously has a domino affect with other businesses," she said.

Issam Yanis, the owner of Coffee Zone located in downtown Columbia said he has seen fewer customers since The Blue Note has remained closed.

"Im with closing that for safety for everybody, but sooner than later we have to find solutions fo venues like that to reopen because Its the bread and butter for the economy," he said.

Goodrich theaters in Jefferson City and Columbia have remained closed even after the state reopened. A website for the Forum 8 location in Columbia says the theater will remain closed "until state and local government health departments deem appropriate to open for business."

Schneider said with fewer entertainment options, hotel occupancy has dropped by 50 percent.

"For May 2019 and the occupancy percentage for hotels ran at about 60 percent, but in May 2020 we were running at about 30 percent," she said. "That has to do with the fact that we didn't have any events."

The owners of the Blue Note and Rose Music Hall are making plans to reopen concerts to the public, Schneider said.

"They are trying to figure out how they can adapt that huge area outside of Rose Music Hall to kind of start bringing entertainment back," she said.

Check back for more on this developing story or watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6.

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Zola Crowder

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