Local outdoor activities benefiting from people’s search for safe entertainment


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – People are heading outdoors as they look for new forms of entertainment during the coronavirus pandemic.

A national research group, NPD, said there are five outdoor activities more people are trying. Equipment sales are up for biking, paddling, golfing, camping, and even bird watching. You can see the article here.

The outdoor activities can provide people a good way to find entertainment while being safe and keeping distance from others.

Officials at Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Topeka are noticing the trend.

“Our occupancy rates for our tee times is actually higher than I’ve ever seen them. Our rounds are up like 20 percent this year, so it’s been great having an outlet for people who have been cooped up in their homes,” said Penny Hickman, the course’s head golf professional.

Longtime golfers are playing more with additional time on their hands, but there has also been a increase of new golfers trying to get in the swing of things.

“Its been hard for me to do my regular job because I’ve been having to give so many lessons this year, so I’ve just met so many new people wanting to try it, just for something to do, again just to get out of the house,” Hickman said.

“Some of the activities people don’t feel comfortable with, like going to the gym like they normally do, so this is a way for them to come out and get some exercise,” she said.

Others are looking to the water, and are seeing how they like canoeing and kayaking.

“We are getting calls almost everyday from people wanting to know where they can get a kayak and how they can get on the river, and that’s new, it’s definitely increased this summer, the number of calls we get,” said Kim Bellemere, program manager for Friends of the Kaw.

The organization puts on groups floats. Bellemere said they’re seeing some of the highest numbers they’ve seen, and floaters are finding out how much they enjoy being on the water.

“It’s a really good way to social distance, it’s easy to do on the river, and also you’re in nature which is rejuvenating, and if you’re stressed out and maybe getting a little stir-crazy from being inside, it’s a great thing to do, get outside and be on the river or anywhere else, just get outside.” Bellemere said.

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