Updated: May 16, 2020 10:23 PM
Created: May 16, 2020 10:13 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—All retailers were allowed to open at 25% capacity Saturday following the updated public health order.
Vendors at El Vado Motel rushed to prepare for their reopening after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's announcement during the week.
"In the past two days, I put everything back in the store, and let me tell you—I'm sweatin," said Michael Wieclaw, owner of The Metal Store.
He was more than excited to finally open up shop after weeks of being closed due to the pandemic. Wieclaw, like most of the vendors from the other shops, were able to stay afloat with online sales. However, having customers in their stores is something they missed.
Some vendors had mixed emotions about reopening.
"It's a little bit of a combination of anxiety and excitement to get out there again," said Elaine Price, an artist at the co-op called Merc66.
Even then, all the vendors were ready for folks who were itching to shop.
"I kind of don't have a feeling it's going to be a slow day. I'm a little more worried about it being swamped and having a lot of people come in," said Carolyne Hammack, owner of Southwest Cactus.
That's because only two to four people can be inside the shops at once because they are small.
But what if business was slow?
"It doesn't matter if it's good or bad. I want to be that lighthouse to normalcy," said Wieclaw.
"This is not about getting volume, or making number. This is about just getting an opportunity to see if there's a space in between the extremes of complete closure and irresponsible interaction," said Sean Wells, a local artist with Merc66.
At the end of the day, a vendor said the shops weren't packed but had a manageable flow all day, which is what they hoped for. They also hope people will follow the health guidelines in place to keep everyone safe.
KOB 4 talked to some shoppers who didn't mind the restrictions in place.
"I think it's a hassle for everybody. I can't breathe. I'm sweating to death, but it's absolutely necessary. It's just necessary that we all take precautions for the whole community," said one customer.
Another shopper said,"I think doing it in a safe way is the best way and just making sure that everyone is proceeding in a state of normal, and they shouldn't go back to the way that they were 'cause obviously that didn't work."
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