CAPITOLA, California (KION) Tourism in Capitola has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, but the beach town is expected to approach a recovery in the coming months.

Capitola, a town known for its sandy beaches, boardwalk, and quaint ambience, attracts thousands of visitors each year, who in turn pour millions of dollars into the city. This stopped abruptly at the beginning of the pandemic, businesses and the normally busy beach town were essentially in a state of limbo in 2020.

A local business owner recalls what the area looked like at the start of the pandemic.

“It was like being in a ghost town. There were hardly any customers when we were able to reopen, so it was a very strange feeling in the village,” said Stacy Branson, owner of Sea Level, a shop that sells Capitola-themed clothing.

Capitola Mayor Yvette Brooks says around 70% to 80% of her sales tax revenue comes from visitors. The mayor is optimistic.

“We see a lot more visitors in our community, people shopping, people walking down the street. It looks like there is a lot more to see and do here in the next few months, “said Brooks.

Last year, the city administrator said the city passed a budget with a 23% reduction in revenue or a loss of $ 4.5 million.

“The good news was that we got out of the pandemic faster and much stronger than we originally thought,” said Jamie Goldstein.

Although California plans to fully reopen by June, the mayor is still cautious.

“We’re planning some events, but we’re still a little cautious,” said Brooks.

Currently, the city supports its businesses through state and federal funding, as well as various programs such as outdoor dining expansion.

Click for access and information on local businesses in Capitola Here.

If you want to find a local company that supports or lists your business, check this out 831 local links here.