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Museums working to adapt to changing restrictions

For some, the move to level orange doesn't make a difference
Museums working to adapt to changing restrictions
Posted at 4:42 PM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 21:20:59-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — El Paso County’s move to level orange Monday allowing businesses to bring more customers inside was welcome news for most business owners. But when it comes to the museum business, that may or may not make a difference. You could definitely call Roy Manuszak a fire buff. “I’m a retired firefighter,” Manuszak said. It all started back in 1971. “My father in law said the Colorado Springs Fire Department is hiring, and I took the test and there I was,” he said. But these days, he spends his time at the Dr. Lester L. Williams Fire Museum inside the Colorado Springs Fire Department headquarters. “They come from all over,” he said. “South America, Taiwan, Japan, everywhere.” The atmosphere at the museum is quaint. “I think my favorite part here is being able to interact with the visitors and tell them about the history of the Colorado Springs fire department,” Manuszak said. That’s what makes it so hard now. “I probably have received two or three dozen calls for people who want to come to the museum, but unfortunately it’s closed,” he said. He made the call back in June. “For us, it only made sense,” Manuszak said. “With the docents being over their 60s and I have to clean all these apparatus.” But not too long after that, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum was just getting going across town. “We opened on July 30,” U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum spokesperson Peter Maiurro said. “We always planned on having a robust digital presence for the museum.” A larger staff and more resources helped keep the doors open. “We’ve felt very ready for a lot of this digital interactive experience,” Maiurro said. He said the museum has been open at 10 percent capacity using a reservation system up until Monday, where it can now fill to 25 percent capacity. As for the Fire Museum, despite much fewer donations coming in, Manuszak said the museum isn’t going anywhere. “I’m hoping that in the next two or three months we’ll be able to open up again,” he said.