OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (KMIZ)
Businesses near the Lake of the Ozarks saw record high crowds this Labor Day weekend compared to the last two decades.
"It's definitely one of the busiest weekends I have ever seen personally, Drew Krey, a bartender at Shady Gators said.
Even with COVID-19, customers were flocking in, causing the local economy to boom for one of the first times since the pandemic started.
"We had to go to carry-out only and that really hurt us, but now business has never been better," Krey said. "It hit us like a train but we were prepared for it."
Jeremy Gorham, the owner of Shady Gators, said this is the busiest Labor Day weekend he has seen in 20 years.
Mike Fink's Marina Boat & Wave Runner Rentals said they have been booked 6 weeks in advance for this weekend.
"We had people get very, very upset with us because of them not getting a boat in time," an employee said.
The business plan to double its fleet for next Labor Day because of the high volume of requests.
The Lake of the Ozarks sits in four different counties throughout Missouri including Camden, Miller, Morgan and Benton counties.
Currently, Camden county has 596 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 9 deaths, Miller County confirmed 295 cases and 1 death, Morgan County confirmed 152 cases and 1 death, and Benton County has confirmed 162 cases and 1 death.
Overall, Missouri has 94,340 confirmed cases of and 1,659 deaths, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.