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Palm Beach County businesses eager to enter Phase Two of Florida's reopening plan

County leaders will ask Gov. Ron DeSantis to allow Palm Beach County to enter Phase Two
Posted at 4:27 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 00:00:03-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Palm Beach County will send a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, requesting to join an incremental Phase Two of Florida's reopening plan.

For the last five-and-a-half months, JoAnn and Brian Dawson have been improving their escape rooms with the hope of opening again soon.

"We're excited to get it all back and started again," said Brian Dawson, the owner of Time Travel Escapes in Jupiter. "This has been a tough, tough couple of months."

Under Palm Beach County's Phase Two plan, escape rooms and other entertainment venues will get to finally open during the first increment.

For Time Travel Escapes, it means limited reservations and private bookings, but it's a start.

"Escape rooms are a very safe environment," said JoAnn Dawson. "You're with the group you some in with, so you're in with two to eight players. You're in a private room that's already been disinfected."

Other businesses eagerly waiting to begin Phase Two are restaurants and bars. Bar seating with limitations will be allowed and outdoor seating will resume at full capacity with social distancing.

"We have two bars which helps us," said William Penenori, the managing partner of The Cooper in Palm Beach Gardens. "We can sit people inside and outside with social distancing, and that means that we'll get more revenue.

Penenori said under Phase One's capacity limitations, revenue is down 50% from the same time last year.

The indoor capacity limit will not change until the fifth increment in Phase Two.

"We're just here to make a living and when someone tells you you can't do that, it's just hard to understand," Penenori said. "We're just trying to make it."