Long Island Aquarium estimates a loss of 60,000 visitors due to COVID-19 pandemic

The Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead is just one of hundreds of businesses on Long Island feeling the financial crunch due to the coronavirus.

News 12 Staff

Mar 20, 2020, 9:01 PM

Updated 1,575 days ago

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The Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead is just one of hundreds of businesses on Long Island feeling the financial crunch due to the coronavirus.
The aquarium is closed and has laid off 85-90 percent of its staff. Animal care workers are among the few employees reporting to work.
Officials at the aquarium say it has taken a huge financial hit.
"We're talking about 60,000 visitors that we're missing out at the aquarium," says general manager Bryan Deluca. "That just translates into dollars and revenue and that's a huge challenge for us right now."
The Long Island Aquarium is one of the biggest tourism attractions on Long Island, but wineries and microbreweries are also affected by having to close down their tasting rooms.
The wineries and breweries can still sell bottles and make online sales, but they depend heavily on visitors.
Tourism industry officials say one helpful thing is that it is not peak season for many of the businesses.
Restaurants are also trying to survive and help out those who need it. Chris Richards, the owner of CJ's American Grill, is donating 100 meals a day to the homeless and those out of work. He's also giving discounts to those working on the front lines to fight the virus.
"My wife and I have been very fortunate to have this restaurant for six years and what has kept us in business is this community," says Richards. "This is our community and we're all one big family. So if we can keep everybody busy enough to get through this crisis, I think we're going to be fine."
Richards say a number of people have have also donated money.


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