Spirit of the Suwannee Adapts Its Business Model
Our friends at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, home to hundreds of festivals over the years, including Suwannee Hulaween, Suwannee Rising, Suwannee Roots Revival, and Suwannee Spring Reunion, just issued this important statement:
Providing Resources for Guests to Adhere
to Social Distancing Guidelines
Cornett’s Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, on the banks of the historic Suwannee River, has found a way to adjust their business model of a large-scale music festival venue hosting up to 30,000 guests daily.
They are making safety masks in one part of the park that has also become a safe haven for campers and families who need a break from the Safe-at-Home mandate.
“We knew that we needed appropriate safety gear for our staff and ideally for our guests too, but the supply chain was difficult to deliver timely, so we decided to figure out how to do it on our own,” said James Cornett, President and CEO of Cornett’s Spirit of the Suwannee.
Teena Peavey, General Manager of the Spirit of the Suwannee, ultimately scrounged around to find fabric, sewing machines, elastic and cloth in enough volume to make masks at the Park. “We started at our own home making masks for family and friends, and it quickly became obvious that we needed to grow to a larger scale,” Cornett noted. “Some of our staff had been laid off due to the government mandate to close restaurants. As part of this project, we have hired them back to make masks in large quantities,” said Cornett.
Carol Walker, who manages the Park’s reservation office, is a seamstress and designed a pattern that makes it easy to produce the mask in bulk. Teena Peavey also developed an assembly process that expedites the production; “Some of our staff have never touched a sewing machine before, but by the end of the day, they were producing some pretty cool masks. It’s amazing what you can do when you come together to do good for your fellow man,” she explained.
Cornett said when the government mandated no mass gatherings, “it obliterated our Spring Festival season.”
The Spirit of the Suwannee is host to a number of festivals throughout the year, and during the Spring it produces Suwannee Spring Reunion, Suwannee Rising, and Suwannee River Jam. “We quickly had to look for ways to keep our business open and our employees working for the duration of this crisis,” explained Cornett.
The Park immediately employed safety measures for their guests and employees. “Before clocking in, each employee must present a body temperature of less than 100 degrees, show no sign of illness or cough, and have no symptoms of the virus,” explained Peavey.
“We immediately closed our 700+ acre campground to only self-contained camper units and closed our bath houses and swimming pool.” Teena has also instructed her Customer Service crew to make sure camp sites are not rented immediately adjacent to each other. “It’s important to social distance, so we have applied the same concept when guests check in. We don’t allow campers to be positioned on adjacent sites. They are spaced out well enough to comply with social distancing measures. Our camping business is growing as a result of the natural amenities we offer here at the Park, like the river, the woods, and the fresh air we have in abundance. Social distancing is easy when you have so much property to work with.”
Chuck Pennington, a consultant with the Park, worked in the emergency restoration field for over 30 years. He devised a sanitation process to frequently cleanse key areas in the Park. “We have state-of-the-art foggers that disburse a sanitation solution that employs a three-minute dwell time,” explained Chuck Pennington. “The products that we are using are among the most effective against viruses according to CDC testing. Furthermore, they are safe, and we have secured enough supplies to meet our needs.” All of the key areas where guests or workers gather are cleaned frequently with this solution, including the Check-In Office and Country Store.
One of the things we are most proud of is the safety measures that we have implemented at the park including sanitizing our store, offices and public areas including cabins. These areas are being professionally sanitized on a regular ongoing schedule using CDC approved products. Our guest peace of mind is our top priority.
Posted by Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park on Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Safety equipment and supplies have been challenging to acquire which led to the mask production.
CONTACT: Teena Peavey, General Manager
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park & Campground
3076 95th Drive, Live Oak, Florida 32060
386/364-1683 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Suwannee Canoe Outpost now open
After being closed since March 29th, the Suwannee Canoe Outpost will be OPEN again on Thursday, May 7th (tomorrow), but with a limited weekly schedule for now.
–We will be OPEN on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
–We can run shuttles BY RESERVATION on Fridays.
–We are CLOSED on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
–We WILL be open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25th.
This schedule is for the foreseeable future.
We will be practicing social distancing measures similar to what we did before the lockdown.
The current river level is about 57 feet at the White Springs gauge, a “medium” level.
The photo below was taken yesterday at our boat ramp, looking down river.
Thanks and we’ll see you on the river!