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Downtown Crystal River thriving even through pandemic

Downtown Crystal River
Posted at 4:49 AM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 08:05:48-04

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — Downtown Crystal River is finding a lot of success, thanks, in part, to tourism during COVID-19.

Just take a walk through downtown and you'll find shops, restaurants and people enjoying the new vibe of Downtown Crystal River.

A lot of tourists chose to come to visit the city during the pandemic because so much of it is outdoors.

"I think we were one of the few, if only one, that we didn't lose a business during COVID," Ken Frink, City Manager of Crystal River said. "We stayed open because of access to the water and outdoors. You know, when everybody was cooped up, and Disney World was closed."

In turn, a new problem ensued.

"We have a parking issue which we've never had parking issues here before. And it's a good issue to have because it means there's a lot of people here visiting our businesses," said Frink.

The city is also working on developing a splash pad underneath the city's historic water tower, thanks to a state grant.

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The splash pad is expected to be complete in October. The city is also working to bring in another business to help support the splash pad.

Meanwhile, Crystal River Main Street is also getting some statewide recognition.

Secretary of State Laurel Lee recently announced Crystal River Main Street as September's Program of the Month.

The Main Street program is a non-profit aimed at improving and preserving the historic downtown area.