Staff at Longwood Gardens, Chester County’s top tourist attraction, were optimistic when 2020 started, projecting that it would be their biggest year yet.
Instead, they and everyone else was met with a crisis felt across the world.
Not all companies have been able to survive COVID, but Longwood Gardens is poised to bounce back bigger than ever. Richard L. Gaw of Chester County Press explains how the highly anticipated $240 million expansion project Longwood Reimagined is playing a huge factor in that.
When Longwood initially had to close due to pandemic mandates in March of 2020, the Gardens had 1,521 staff.
By the end of Spring, that number had been cut to 244. Here, now on the path to recovery, they are back up to over 800 and growing. And the Longwood Reimagined project is expected to generate around 4,000 jobs for the surrounding area as work on it lasts through 2024.
Though the beauty and artistry of the displays at Longwood aren’t necessarily essential, the source of livelihoods they create are. By persevering and continuing to expand, Longwood Gardens is not only ensuring its own legacy but that of its community as well. And that is something the leaders behind the garden are very conscious of.
“None of us at Longwood ever want Longwood to become an island onto itself,” said Paul Redman, the Longwood Gardens President and CEO. “It’s about us being an integrated part of the community and playing a role in the continued advancement and improvement of the quality of life for everyone in our region – and that includes the economy. When everyone is prospering…Longwood is winning, too.”
To learn more of how Longwood Gardens may change following the pandemic, read the Chester County Press story here.