Shady Cove business suffers on one end but gains from another

(KTVL/ Kimberly Kolliner)

Smoke and poor air quality has taken a toll on local businesses in Shady Cove.

They've had to rearrange outdoor activities and account for less tourism in general because for visitors or folks who are new to the area the smoke can be pretty shocking.

"I'm sending pictures back to my mom almost every other day being like it's still the apocalypse I can't see the sun you know, what's happening," said Jasper Jade, a new Shady Cove resident.

A smoke induced apocalypse or not work must go on for Kristi Possinger, a 26-year server at Mac’s Diner.

Possinger loves the food and obviously loves her job but there is one thing she's not too crazy about.

"All the smoke in the air it's like clearing the throat all the time," said Possinger.

She ties to make her customers more comfortable by keeping the doors shut but that means off limits is a customer favorite.

"We usually have our patio seating you know in the summer months from May to September and that's really diminished a lot," said Possinger.

The owner says business is down about 25 percent.

But customers like Jade say he won't let the smoke stop him.

"You gotta live your life you gotta come out, you gotta support the local businesses and you gotta have fun with your life so can't let a little smog get you down. I mean people in LA this is what it looks like on a good day so," said Jade.

Jade has a meal at Mac’s Diner about three times a week and staff say he’s one of many.

"Out of towners haven't seen a place like this in 150, 200 miles from here. We're one of a kind, absolutely. Little hidden gem right on the Rogue River, I mean we have it made here, for sure," said Possinger.

Mac's Diner says the one thing that's helped their business stay afloat is all the support they've gotten from firefighters.

The owner of Mac's Diner says crews from all over the country are now regulars.

Same thing for Royal Coachman Motel who says they've already met their quota for the summer specifically because of the firefighters.

"We have two firefighters staying here right now that work at night, they sleep during the day. Can you imagine being at one of those camps during the day and trying to sleep you know the comings and goings, the heat you know, it's intolerable. But here they get to rest," said Thomas Thompson, the motel co-owner.

And during their rest days the firefighters get to explore Southern Oregon which businesses say compensates for any other visitor cancellations.

Plus, business owners say they couldn't think of better people to want to cater to than the ones who are on the front lines protecting us.

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