by Greg Mengarelli, Mayor, City of Prescott
As we approach the start of the gorgeous summer season here in Prescott, it continues to impress me watching our citizens and local businesses navigate through the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been many frustrating days, but overall, we are seeing days with promise and hope.
Governor Ducey continues to phase the re-opening of Arizona’s economy and Prescott is following suit. So many restaurants and small businesses have taken the negative aspects of their circumstances and turned them into positives and inventive new ways to do business. Our local governing bodies also continue their teamwork in helping guide the Quad Cities area and all of Yavapai County through this difficult season.
While our trails, lakes and parks remained open throughout the stay-home orders, we’ve now also been able to re-open playgrounds and public restrooms for the convenience of Prescott families. So many parents have reveled in the opportunity to have more quality time with their children despite the sometimes stressful moments of schools being closed, and seeing our parks and playgrounds full showcases this. In light of the distancing restrictions that have been associated with COVID-19, time in the great outdoors has made such a positive impact on everyone that has been able to take the time to enjoy what Prescott has to offer.
In addition to reopening playgrounds and bathrooms, City staff has worked diligently to reopen City Hall and satellite offices to the public once again. As you come to visit the community development department or utility billing you’ll see evidence of this with safety barriers and floor markings to help encourage the safety of City employees and the public. I am truly proud of the level of service that has continued through all of the uncertainty and the dedication of City staff in serving our community in new and unique ways.
As reopening continues, it has been inspiring to once again see citizens enjoying an afternoon patio lunch or drink at our local restaurants and supporting our local economy. Restaurant owners are working hard to ensure social distancing and CDC cleaning requirements are maintained while welcoming their customers back. They are continuing to offer curbside pickup and delivery services, specialized menus for “family to-go meals”.
While not all of our restaurants have yet been able to reopen it is my hope that by the end of summer everyone will have been able to navigate this pandemic and begin serving their loyal customers once again. In addition to restaurants reopening their doors, so many of our locally owned shops, salons, barbershops and gyms have also been able to welcome their customers back. Prescott is such a unique and vibrant community and the value its citizens hold for our small business owners is heartwarming and has never been more evident.
The Prescott community has a long history of coming together to get through times of crisis and stress, and that has been highlighted extensively during the last few months. We’ve remained strong, positive and showed grace to each other as everyone has navigated this unique and trying time. That perseverance has allowed us to come back step-by-step and continue to support each other as we look to the future. There are many good things to come. It is important to continue to be diligent, safe and respectful as reopening continues so that the positive progress continues. I have been and continue to be deeply proud of our beautiful hometown.
Photo by Jim David