COVID-19 case numbers remain steady and the future may be uncertain, but back at the ranch, the Rounds are preparing for a fun season outdoors just in case.
Rounds Ranch, located on County Road 92 between Elmvale and Wasaga Beach, has been a local tourist attraction since 2002 with its 125 acres of property full of activities for kids of all ages.
Owner Geri Rounds told BarrieToday the facility has been using the lockdown to get ready for a reopening.
“We’re adding some new activities not just to spruce it up a little bit, but also we are spreading out the attractions so there is more chance for social distancing,” Rounds said.
Rounds Ranch has more than 20 different activities for families to participate in that tend to have a ranch theme.
The Western Playfort, the pedal carts and the Confusion Corn Maze have been staples of Rounds Ranch, but are about to be joined by some new ideas.
“We have a 500-foot slip and slide coming and a Tumbleweed Turnabout that will keep kids busy," Rounds said. "Our Sunflower Experience is widely popular and allows for people to get some great photos in the sunflower field.
“We are adding a pick your own lavender area," she added. "It's going to smell amazing, but also be a great place to get some memories with photos.”
Like many other businesses in Ontario, Rounds Ranch has been closed on and off through the pandemic.
Because it is an outdoors business, Rounds said they have been able to stay open more than others and she hopes the government will see how important that is.
“This is a safe and fun place to be for everyone, with mental health and the outdoors being something that is talked about often as of late,” said Rounds. “We have all the necessary health protocol here, but when added with the wide-open space, it is such a great place for people to bring the kids and let them run around.”
Rounds said they were quite busy last August, September and October, but not so much other times.
“Thankfully, the government has helped with employee wages, but it's still a bit of an uphill battle financially,” she said. “Everybody is feeling it so hopefully we get out of this sooner than later.”
Rounds Ranch is slated to be open by June 25 and the website has a link for reserving your time, should government regulations allow for the attraction centre to be open.