N.C. businesses embracing first full weekend of eased COVID-19 restrictions

N.C. businesses embracing first full weekend of eased COVID-19 restrictions

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - From bars, to museums, to gyms, and everything in between - businesses across the Tar Heel state are enjoying more guests, and for some, later hours.

Daquan Doyle opened XO Lounge and Bar in North Charlotte in November of last year. Since then he’s been faced with a modified stay-at-home order, capacity restrictions, and an early call time for alcohol.

He eventually had to cut staff and close temporarily, but now months later, he’s able to expand up to 50% capacity inside and serve alcohol until 2 a.m. thanks to the latest executive order.

“It’s definitely a relief. We feel like we have more leeway and a lot of nightlife and alcohol sales come after 10 o’clock,” Doyle said.

Nightclubs and lounges aren’t the only places embracing the extra capacity.

Cliff Hangers rock climbing and fitness center in Mooresville can now have up to 75% capacity indoors and 100% outdoors.

Recreation, physical, and fitness activity centers along with pools and amusement parks can operate up to 75% capacity indoors and 100% outdoors.

“The more people that are able to come in, the more revenue that we’re going to generate obviously that helps the business which has been quite difficult over the last year to do,” said managing partner and owner Keith Johnson.

Johnson says Rock climbing is a distant sport anyway but before you strap up, there are some things you need to know.

“We encourage people to wash their hands often and use hand sanitizer,” Johnson said.

Cliff Hangers is also requiring climbers to use liquid chalk and wear masks.

“These alcohol-based liquid chalks definitely help minimize the spread of any kind of viruses,” Johnson said.

Johnson and his staff are also disinfecting the yoga studio and fitness area.

Over at XO Lounge, Doyle says they’re doing temperature checks, selling tickets to keep an eye on capacity, and enforcing the mask mandate. He’s also removing bar stools to discourage crowding.

While both owners aren’t at 100% yet, they say they’re looking forward to what the next few months will bring for other businesses and guests.

“They’re excited, they’re happy, they’re at ease they feel like they have a lot more freedom,” Doyle said.

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