Some Castle Rock retailers reopen, hope to be model for other communities

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KDVR) – Retailers in Castle Rock are back in business for the first time since the stay-at-home order went into effect five weeks ago. Businesses are taking different approaches to reopening.

Some aren’t quite ready to reopen. Others are welcoming customers back with open arms.

The Emporium merchant mall opened, with new measures, like extra sanitizing and limiting the number of customers.

“So excited, I keep crying, such a big blessing to be open again,” Elizabeth Villwock said.

Brittany Gray drove all the way from Fountain, Colorado to shop at the Emporium on its reopening day.

“We are here to support local stores. It’s been so long since we’ve been able to get out,” she said.

At the Outlets at Castle Rock, more than 20 of the 100 stores have reopened, and they saw a steady stream of customers on the first day back. They have made their streets one-way and are asking customers to keep their distance. Some stores are doing curbside pick-ups only. Others, like Fjallraven, have spent the past several weeks making major changes to allow customers in.

Store manager Favian Saenz said, “Everything has been completely overhauled. The racks are horizontal. The cash-out area is as touchless as possible. Customers remove hangars themselves, bag their own merchandise so they feel safe.”

Retailers in Castle Rock know they could be paving the way for businesses in other cities to reopen if it goes well.

Jen Simpson is the marketing manager for the Outlets at Castle Rock. She said, “We are looking at every aspect of how the next few weeks go. We hope we can be an example for other areas to reopen.”

It has been a challenge, but these businesses want others to know it can be done.

“It’s made a change internally. And it’s made us stronger as a company entirely,” Saenz said.

>>Click here to see which stores have reopened.

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