Businesses in Niagara County prepare for a happy and safe New Year’s Eve

Local News

NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — There’s a rise in COVID-19 cases across the state, including in Niagara County, just as businesses are preparing for one of the busiest nights of the year, New Year’s Eve.

“New Year’s Eve is our busiest day of the year so to lose that portion of our business last year kind of hurt,” said Brian Borowski, who owns Allie Brandt Lanes in Lockport.

Unlike last year, Allie Brandt Lanes can stay open when the clock strikes midnight on the New Year.

It’s great to introduce the later session so people can ring in the new year properly,” Borowski said.

As COVID cases continue to rise, Borowski says he trusts his customers will use their best judgment when heading out to celebrate.

“Personally I’m not concerned. We do have our hand sanitizers around,” he said. “I think people when they come here, they’re going to be safe, they’re going to be within their own group. They’re not going to be going from lane to lane and all that. So I think people will take it upon themselves to be safe.”

This year will be the first time Halligan’s Tavern in Lockport will be throwing a new year’s eve party.

“We’re going to take a shot at a New Year’s Eve party, this is our first year,” co-owner Jeff Abbott said. “We’re still figuring some stuff out. We figured we’d give people someplace to go in the Niagara County area.”

On Wednesday the Niagara County Health Department reported the seven-day positivity rate average at 10.6 percent. According to the health department, from December 23 through December 29 there were 952 positive COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths.

As an extra precaution, The Goldbar in Niagara Falls is requiring their customers to be vaccinated.

“For people to be able to kind of mingle around and enjoy the music and not worry about mask on or mask off,” said owner Morgan Genovese. “We have it vaccinated only so that everyone felt comfortable and to have the crowd that is going to be able to support and sustain us.”

To help everyone have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve, business owners are also asking people to stay home if they think they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or if they’re showing any symptoms.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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