The White Pines Resort has been a fixture in a suburban community since the 1930s, but the business is shuttering its doors forever amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m putting this on social media to let everyone know that I’m one of the statistics that don’t make it,” Elizabeth George, who has run the lodge and dinner theater for the last 31 years, said in a social media post. “I’m filing for bankruptcy and have to close down.”
In a tearful Facebook post, George said that in spite of following the rules, the business, which has been closed since last season, just can’t reopen.
“What business could possibly go sixteen months without being open?” she said. “What happens if you reopen and one person gets sick? Are they going to shut everything back down? This just doesn’t make any sense in my world.”
George says she hopes she can pay back couples that have put down deposits to hold weddings at the venue. She’ll hold a sale, selling off inventory from the gift shop, next week in hopes of raising the money.
Other businesses are feeling the strain as well. In suburban Skokie, Marge’s Flowers is saying goodbye to a neighborhood that owner Ron Kalmes and his wife Gloria have known for 70 years.
“His mother was pregnant with Ron when she opened the shop,” Gloria said.
In tough financial times, the store always made sure to make customers comfortable when they entered the store, but in the current environment, that face-to-face contact has become impossible.
“I came in every single day, so it’s gonna be very rough on me,” Gloria said. “I’m gonna miss it tremendously. I’ll never forget anybody.”
Chamber of Commerce officials in Skokie are planning a parade Friday for the business that survived so many ups and downs over the years, but couldn’t survive the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.