LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — As the pandemic stretches on, so do the effects it has on businesses. Usually, this time of year, football fans are gearing up for tailgating, and it is what Jeremy Dixon lives for.
The regional sales manager for Tailgate Guys is typically busy getting ready for UK's first home football game. His company provides all-inclusive tailgate experiences, but this year, it's crickets.
"It's awkward," Dixon said. "I never in a million years thought I'd be dealing with something like this."
The entire area surrounding Kroger Field that would typically be swamped with tents and trailers for anxious tailgaters sits empty.
Dixon said, "I guess it was two Fridays ago when we got the final word that there would be no tailgating."
For Dixon, it is not just a matter of missing out on the experience; it is a financial issue. When it became clear tailgating in Kentucky would be a no-go, Tailgate Guys, like businesses across most sectors, got creative.
"We are trying to find new ways of using what we have," Dixon said
While tailgating itself has not been deemed essential, their company has. They have been busy providing outdoor tents and resources for everything from medical facilities to fast food restaurants.
"Anybody that is in need of an outdoor capacity, whether it's seating or lines or whatever, and we've put up tents around the country, " Dixon explained.
They have also pivoted to providing the same all-inclusive tailgate experience for people at their homes or parks. An attempt to help bring back some normalcy and, yes, fun, which is a touchdown for their customers and essential for a successful rebound.