Effect of COVID restrictions on tourism at Herkimer Diamond Mines

Herkimer County

HERKIMER, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Herkimer Diamond Mines are a hidden gem in New York, and as summer comes to a close, many businesses are reflecting on how the tourism season has gone post-COVID restrictions.

“COVID and other factors like gas prices are going to affect tourism but one of the things that we found is there are two silver linings,” said Dr. Renée Scialdo Shevat, president and owner of the Herkimer Diamond Mines. She says the first is that “most local people are reimagining and investing time and revisiting some local attractions so they are familiarizing themselves with what’s in their backyard.”

The second silver lining is that most people are looking for ways to spend time in the outdoors after being in their houses during quarantine. “We all have a new best friend, and that’s mother nature. Month over month we have been growing in numbers,” said Renée.

At the Herkimer Mines, they’ve been practicing social distancing for 40 years.

“When you go out to the mines and you have hammers you can’t be on top of one another for ease and for safety. so we’ve become an environment for many people to experience a mother nature walk hand in hand with mother nature, and reintroduce themselves to what mother nature has to offer in the beautiful outdoors,” said Renée.

The Herkimer Diamonds are all over the world, and Renée says that the most satisfying part of her job is seeing the memories that families are able to create at the mines. “We talk about silver linings in any crisis,” she said. “That for me this is one of the best things that we can feel that we’re still offering experiences for families that are truly memorable and something that they’ll never forget.”

The mines will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until November 1.

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