Parker stores see huge support on reopening

Douglas County retail open with social distancing, mask guidelines

Nick Puckett
npuckett@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/5/20

Some Parker retail stores partially reopened May 1, allowing customers to shop indoors for the first time since the state-issued stay-at-home order began March 26. The Tri-County Health Department …

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Parker stores see huge support on reopening

Douglas County retail open with social distancing, mask guidelines

Posted

Some Parker retail stores partially reopened May 1, allowing customers to shop indoors for the first time since the state-issued stay-at-home order began March 26.

The Tri-County Health Department extended its stay-at-home order for Arapahoe and Adams counties. But the regional health agency exempted Douglas County from the order due to the county's slower rate of COVID-19 cases.

Parker Shoppes, a boutique retail at 10685 Parker Road, is among the merchants that reopened May 1. Owner JoDee Dean said the store does not require shoppers to wear cloth face coverings, but most have been wearing masks anyway.

Prominently displayed near the front door is a selection of masks with different designs. Dean said they have sold out of the $8 disposable cloth face coverings since they started selling.

Retail stores in Douglas County can operate at about 50% of the building's capacity. Six-foot social distancing guidelines must be enforced, and employees must wear face coverings.

Despite the new rules, Dean said business on May 1 was up 41% from the previous year. One loyal customer of hers, she said, took the day off work just to come visit the store.

“We're part of their community, their tribe, their people,” Dean said.

Even before May 1, Parker Shoppes was deemed essential for its sale of propane and remained open a few hours a day, four days a week.

Dean usually counts on Mother's Day and springtime, one of the most lucrative seasons of the year. To be able to open, Dean “quadrupled” her staff's cleaning and disinfecting efforts, implementing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to remain 6 feet apart.

“We've been surviving,” Dean said. “It's been hard and it's been scary because we have people who are not working now for us. We're very conscious getting them back as soon as we can.”

On the first day stores could open, Mainstreet in downtown Parker was abuzz. With the sun shining and a high of 84 degrees that day, folks strolled Mainstreet and enjoyed the ability to shop where they could.

Parker Panache owner Brenda Zdanowicz said business was the best it had been all year.

“People almost fall into two camps,” Zdanowicz said. “They're staying home and not having any part of it, or they're just like, 'I'm getting on with my life. I'm not going to worry about it.' They're just going to live life how they did. That's how (May 1) felt. People were still cautious and respectful of one another, but it was almost like `I'll wear the mask out of respect of you not because I really feel I need to.'”

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