Twin Falls outdoor adventure store talks about slow reopening, community support
If you're looking for a family activity to do outside, you may end up going to AWOL Adventure Sports.
KMVT talked owner Paul Melni about how they're handling the new guidelines during the COVID pandemic, and how they're keeping people as safe as possible.
"Our dive shop was allowed to open three weeks ago, along with the kayak rentals," Melni said. "Our zip line was allowed to open last Saturday, and our scuba diving classes will start up in about a week and a half."
While they slowly reopen, some things are different.
"We are limiting how many people can be in here at a time," he said. "The employees are instructed to wear masks and constantly clean after each customer comes in."
That also means cleaning off the equipment.
"With the zip line course we have to do a cleaning with multiple types of cleaning agents, you know, isopropyl alcohol for the trolleys, and ethyl alcohol for the harnesses that sort of thing," Melni said. "And down at the river for the kayaking, we've had to implement a lot of cleaning regiments, life jackets and paddles get sanitized and each boat is scrubbed down and then sanitized before the next use."
It's a time consuming process, but Melni said customers have been more than understanding. They've even seen an increase in business.
"We have seen a huge influx in people coming into the shop, buying new kayaks," he said. "I believe we've sold close to if not more in the last two weeks as we did last year."
And they're coming to help a small, local business.
"A lot of people have been saying that they're not necessarily settling, but choosing kayaks that might not have been their first choice on color, or knowingly purchase a kayak that might be a little bit more expensive, and expressing to us that they're here to do this, to help us out as a small business," Melni said. "So we've been really appreciative of that."