LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Life is returning to downtown Las Vegas as business owners at the Downtown Container Park are seeing customers come back to visit, shop, and eat.
It's slowly becoming business as usual at Cheffini's Hot Dogs, with workers finally taking orders.
"We've had a good number of people in so far, so I'm really excited to see how it's going to progress throughout," Kaitlain Arnone, the manager, said.
The restaurant was one of many businesses reopening at the container park for the first time in two months. It was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When we were starting to close down the park, it was really slow, so it's amazing to see everyone coming back out," Arnone said.
The container park is one of the first shopping centers to reopen in downtown Las Vegas. General manager James Gonzales says businesses are excited to welcome customers again.
"I want to say about 70 to 80 percent of the stores are going to be open," Gonzales said.
But don't expect to see many tables and chairs. The park reduced its capacity to less than 50 percent to meet social distancing guidelines, and those tables and chairs are cleaned after any customer leaves.
"Today, when we opened, we literally had 50 to 60 people coming in, and you can tell the community is excited. They want somewhere to go," Gonzales said.
Somewhere to perhaps eat a hot dog and workers at Cheffini's were glad to take orders again.
"We're just really happy to be back, and we'll see where it goes from here," Arnone said.
And gelato is being served once again at Waffelato.
Owner Di Miller says he was glad to be open once again.
"I'm actually kind of shocked. I thought we would be further down the road," Miller said.
Miller's gelato shop was closed like the rest of the container park for the past two months but was fortunate enough to get a small business loan from the federal government to help provide some short-term relief.
"It helped us make it through two months of no business at all," she said.
Miller expects her customer base to be different. Not as many tourists with more locals coming through the door.
"We do have quite a following down here in downtown, so I think we're going to get quite a few people," she said.
People like Shelly Barger, visiting from North Las Vegas, said she's glad to have a reason to get out of the house.
"It's nice to come out and feel a little normalcy," Barger said.
Miller also said she's cleaning more often at her store and placed signs to remind customers to stay six feet apart and believes the safety measures will help ease customer concerns.
"Once they feel safe, the park will come back. I have no doubt," she said.