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Downtown Joplin seeing rebound after pandemic

JOPLIN, Mo. — If you’ve been to downtown Joplin lately, you may have noticed things are a little busier. You could say it’s a pandemic rebound.

This time of year, people from the four states start making vacation trips to places like Orlando, Florida. But if you check the registry inside the Joplin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, just the opposite is happening, a reverse migration to Joplin, and it’s not just visitors from the sunshine state. And Kerstin Landwer thinks she knows why.

Kerstin Landwer, Joplin CVB, Director of Sales, said, “What we’re seeing is revenge tourism revenge travel, and folks that were unable to travel last year have really hit the tour and travel business with a vengeance, they are planning these trips, as soon as they got their vaccines or they feel comfortable with the location they’re going, they’re hitting the road and we’re starting to see that.”

“A sure sign that things are starting to get back to normal in downtown Joplin, two tourism busses made it to Joplin this week, the first since 2019.

And those out of town visitors have to eat. Many of them have been going to downtown restaurants like Club 609.

Steve Williams, Manager, Club 609, said, “We get phone numbers on reservations, and a lot of groups come in and obviously area codes and where they’re calling from, so that gives us a good explanation of where they’re coming from, and they say they haven’t been here before or they haven’t been here in a long time, so that’s interesting to hear.”

Julie Bollin just moved her clothing business from the Columbia Traders building two streets down and to the other side of main street.

Julie Bollin, Owner, Blush Boutique, said, “A ton of foot traffic that day, a lot of new customers here for different reasons, sports or work, or over at the City Hall, some people noticed my store from there, just a lot of people from out of town.”

“Just adds a nice vibe downtown that it’s getting back to what it used to be and where it was going,”said Williams.

“I think everybody ready to get out and about and a lot of them have had their vaccinations already, nice weather, everybody’s ready to get back to normal,” said Bollin.

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