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Eagle Bluff Resort prepares for holiday weekend amid pandemic

Posted at 9:41 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 23:11:05-04

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The first big weekend of summer is almost here.

This weekend, the Illinois River will be full of people on rafts, kayaks and canoes. The Eagle Bluff Resort in Tahlequah is taking extra measures to protect customers from the coronavirus. All staff will wear masks and they’ve hired additional cleaning crews. But, for the most part, floating the river will be the same.

“We’re only allowing one person per party inside the store at a time," said Justice Peters, reservations manager at Eagle Bluff Resort. "We’re loading our buses starting from the back.”

One of the biggest changes right now is the number of tent sites available. Eagle Bluff typically rents out 80 sites but is currently renting 40 to 50. They're making sure there’s space between each site.

“We’re essentially giving every camper with us a second campsite so they can spread out more, and they don’t have to interact with other groups," Peters said.

One of those campers is Brandi Barnett. She’s staying through the weekend and isn’t too concerned about being around people. She’s just looking forward to a fun weekend on the river.

“It’s a nice break from what’s been going on," she said. "And just gives you some outdoor downtime.”

Eagle Bluff is also not allowing tent camping at its RV sites. But despite these changes, the resort isn’t seeing a huge decline in sales. Their campsites are already sold out for this weekend.

“People are more excited to get out of their homes," Peters said. "And so, we are seeing a lot more weekday reservations than we have in past years because people are able to get out of their houses a little bit easier.”

Eagle Bluff said they have about 30 rafts left to reserve this weekend.

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