Families opt to stay local for spring, summer vacations as pandemic rages on

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Posted at 7:44 AM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 07:44:11-04

CLEVELAND — Vacation season is just around the corner, but with the virus still lingering some families are choosing to stay local and explore their own city.

For Northeast Ohioans - there’s plenty to do and see, as Cleveland and Northeast Ohio are home to some of the best attractions. From museums to amusement parks, there are options for all kinds of families.

Josh Flagner and his family are what you’d call — a Disney family. The family of four, with two small children, usually invest their hard-earned dollars going to the most magical place on earth during the summer months. But, this year they’re opting for the Homerville KOA in Medina County.

“It’s quality time with the family. We’re not thinking about work, we’re not thinking about the house. I’m not mowing the lawn or doing chores," said Flagner.

Flagner said they’re choosing to stay local for two reasons: Money and they know what they’re going to get here in Northeast Ohio.

“We just don't want to put that kind of investment into a big family vacation and not know what kind of experience we're going to get," he said. "We’re comfortable with the leadership and with the health department and all the business in northeast Ohio. We’re comfortable with the safety that they’ve provided.”

But the Flagner family isn’t alone in this staycation trend.

“There’s still different kinds of level of comfort but it’s so exciting to see people with confidence," said Teri Agosta, the general manager of the Hilton Downtown Hotel.

She said as the vaccine rollout continues and health measures are rolled back, rooms are booking up.

“We see it slowly ramping up, definitely," she said.

If you stay in Northeast Ohio, you’ve got options for entertainment.

  • The rock hall offers packages with several hotels in downtown.
  • On Mondays, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is free for Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township residents.
  • University Circle has nearly a dozen museums to choose from plus you can save money with the Circle Pass.
  • There’s also plenty of sporting options like golfing, paddle boarding and zip lining.

Agosta believes the NFL draft in downtown will kick off the surge of visitors.

“I think there's going to be so many people who are going to come down and just enjoy that. It's really going to be, as we're saying, the tipping point of everybody just getting back to Cleveland.”

To see how businesses are bouncing back, click here to view the News 5 We're Open series.