July 15, 2020
COVID Update #22
Lea Filson, Executive Director, See Plymouth
It looks like it is going to be a long recovery. As of this week, the Coronavirus is raging throughout our country and many seem to be in denial. While people run around sans mask, the virus spreads. 

A few weeks ago, it looked as if we were on the upward side of reopening, but now it looks like we may do some backsliding. Depending on whether we can continue our positive MA numbers, and that there is no fall resurgence, we may be able to survive. What worries me are the studies that indicate that fear and negative perception is such in the U.S. that people are beginning to shun other people and places except for their immediate environments. 

Plymouth does seem to be in a bubble in that we have lower numbers and fewer deaths, but we must stay guarded and cautious and not begin believing we are bulletproof. I am encouraged by how many people are wearing masks in the historic cultural district. On vacation last week, I strolled Court Street and Water Street and people seemed less anxious. I am hoping it is the good vibe they are getting from Plymouth.

The analysis this week is not good. Unlike my vibe in Plymouth, nationally, people are deciding in larger numbers not to leave home. For tourism, it sets our recovery back even further. Earlier today, I testified in a Senate Listening call about tourism and COVID and talked about the ways the legislature can help tourism survive over the next few years. Representing the RTCs, I asked that matching funds for our Tourism Trust Funds be waived for both 2020 and 2021. That would allow us to continue marketing the Plymouth County destination without asking all of you to pitch in on coop ads. If you do want to market, get in touch because we can offer great discounts over what you would pay advertising alone, however.

Our staff has stayed busy throughout all this doing internal work that will benefit you. We are putting the finishing touches on our new website design that will include many new photos of your establishments and a fresh new look at the town and county of Plymouth. Kudos to Claire MacPherson and Tricia Ellis for their work on this. Paula has been working on advertising strategy with me, John has been working with Georgia on better organization of our linked organizations, and we have all been staring at each other in masks.

Stay up to date and read through our offerings of articles today. There is both good news and bad, but it is what it is. For my part, I am trying to keep a stiff upper lip and march forward. 
Let’s start with the Good News! 

Plymouth County Matching Funds Grant Application

Be on the lookout for the 2020/2021 Plymouth County Matching Funds Grant Application coming soon to our nonprofit partners located in Plymouth County. This grant is a benefit to See Plymouth members from the Plymouth County Commissioners, allowing See Plymouth to offer a grant to pay 40% of your project. Specific qualification details will be located in the application.
News from Park Plymouth – Parking has begun again for the season
Plymouth County Occupancy Rates
Week of June 28 – July 4, 2020

Occ – 43.1%
Down by 35.2%

Over 28 Days
Occ – 41.4%
Down by 44.7%

Average Daily Rate
ADR – $116.25
Down by 17.5%

Over 28 Days
ADR – $106.70
Down by 24.8%
Not something any of us wants to see...

I am showing you a handful of slides from this week’s Destination Analysis webinar. You can also see the entire presentation. This is the bad news I was referring to. As our country is stacking up the numbers of cases and deaths, people are becoming fearful.
As always, here is the latest update from U.S. Travel Association:
The Big E is so much more than just a fair, it is tradition, it is celebration, it is the showcase of everything we are so proud of in New England. Due to COVID-19 the 2020 Big E has been cancelled. They invite you to join them next year for the 2021 Big E scheduled September 17 - October 3, 2021.
Finally, something to help you be calm and stop the craziness for a few minutes. This beautiful time-lapse photography was captured in Boston parks by JMI Timelapse. 

As time passes, the virus too shall pass:
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