No doubt, times are tough for a lot of people due to business closures and layoffs caused by Covid-19. But there are some bright spots in the Connecticut economy as people look to get out and get some recreation in ways that are safe and socially distant.

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Here are three industries that are seeing some off-the-chart sales thanks to Covid:

  • Boats: My next door neighbor works for one of the local marinas on Candlewood Lake and about a month ago, he told me that business has never been better. A recent article in the Hartford Courant bears this out. Boat sales are up and it makes sense. Being out on a boat allows a family to enjoy the outdoors while still staying in their own "social bubble."
  • Recreational vehicles: This one makes sense too. People are reluctant to get on airplanes or even stay in a hotel. And depending on where you want to travel, eating at a restaurant may not be possible. So, why not combine all three into one package? An RV gets you where you want to go, and you can cook and sleep in it. According to NBC Connecticut, RV sales and rentals are through the roof.
  • Bicycles: This might be the biggest surprise. And, it's almost a crisis for bike shops around the country, who cannot get new inventory to sell. Many categories are just sold out. I spoke to John Gallagher, owner of Bike Express in New Milford, who said that he is focusing on repairs as people are finding old bikes in basements and garages and bringing them in to be spruced up for use.  "I still have bikes for people looking for something higher end - above $1,500 - but the family bikes that are traditionally the core of my business have been sold out for months," said Gallagher. "It's great to see everyone out there riding and we'll do everything we can to get them on a bike, but finding inventory right now, including accessories, is really hard for just about every bike shop on the planet."

So, if you're looking for a boat, a bike or a camper, get in line and plan ahead. And, if you do find one, be safe, have fun and enjoy your summer. And, in many cases, you'll be supporting a local business in the process.

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