The busy tourism season is about to get underway in Coeur d'Alene, but businesses have to get through construction season first. It's not an easy task for some shop owners along Sherman Avenue and Front Street.
"We're losing the through traffic, so we're going to lose the visual exposure," Sandra Gunn said.
Gunn owns the Coeur d'Alene Olive Oil Company on South 4th Street. She says the McEuen Field construction and customers, mix like, well, oil and water.
Gunn's turned to delivering her oil to loyal clients.
Her friend and business neighbor, Marie Widmyer, has turned to selling clothes outside. The window shoppers don't exist, because they can't walk by her windows.
"We just look to the end and wait for it to be done and get past it, and just think of fun ideas," Widmyer said.
The two business owners say everyone they've talked with expects a drop in sales of 20-30 percent. One reason, it's a little more difficult than telling customers to simply take a left on 4th Street.
"I was coming in, you could come south on 3rd and then go left to the alley and then come up this way and get access," she recalled driving to her store. "But there was a delivery truck in the alley parked there and blocked, so you couldn't get by."
The two women are trying to have a good attitude. They're giving 10-percent off to customers who will take a picture with a hard hat on. The hats are in the store, they just need the customers to walk through the front door.
"And we'll put it on Facebook (for them) saying, 'we've conquered the construction to support local businesses,' and then they'll get a discount in the store. For her store and my store," Gunn said.
The McEuen Field construction is expected to last through May 2014. Front Street is expected to re-open November 19.
The city will also give out brochures to businesses next week. It will include driving and parking instructions for customers.