Carly Carver, Editor
The Ashland Beacon
Like many local area businesses, Imel’s Greenhouse, located at 2836 State Route 1 in Greenup, has had to make several changes to how they conduct business for the safety and protection of their customers due to COVID-19.
Though the greenhouse has something for everyone throughout the year, many in the tri-state and local community look forward to Imel’s Greenhouse as a highlight fall activity. In the fall season at Imel’s Greenhouse you will find mums, corn stalks, gourds, pumpkins, fodder, succulents, fall decorations, and dozens of other plants.
A highlight activity at Imel’s Greenhouse during the fall season is the Spooky Trail, which features a variety of different Halloween-themed decorations that all children will find spook-tacular.
Imel’s Greenhouse is also known for their barnyard zoo with goats, where children can feed the animals.
The Granny Annie’s Store at Imel’s Greenhouse is open and stocked with fall candies, candles, canned goods, and more.
However, due to COVID-19, there have had to be some changes to how Imel’s Greenhouse operates, said owner Kenny Imel. To be in accordance with the state and local regulations, the greenhouse is unable to open several of their features, including the large-scale playground area with the slides, the hay-bale maze, and the child-sized wagon rides.
“The only thing that is different is the playground,” said Kenny. “They can still come back to the goats and feed them. We’ve still got a little of everything else.”
Imel’s Greenhouse, a Greenup County tourism gem, attracts hundreds of schools from West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky, with some traveling as many as 40 miles for the attractions.
However, due to COVID-19 the school trips have also had to be postponed.
“We normally have like 2,000 school kids that come through here in the fall, but we can’t do that,” said Kenny.
Imel’s Greenhouse has taken every precaution required by local and state guidelines and sanitizes regularly to ensure customer safety. Despite the closure of the playground, Imel’s Greenhouse is still a great place to spend the afternoon picking pumpkins and supporting a locally-owned business. Kenny said despite the changes, his family is grateful for the community’s support.
“It’s not what we normally do, but what in this is what we normally do,” said Kenny. “We’ve been on top of this thing. It is serious. But we will get through it.”
Imel’s Greenhouse started more than 40 years ago, when Kenny Imel started the greenhouse at age 15. Kenny said he works the business now with his family. “We’re just a family-owned business,” said Kenny.
Kenny said throughout COVID-19, his family and him have been blessed by the support of the community.
“We are blessed to still be open,” said Kenny. “We are still trying to provide an outlet. We can socially distance here.”
Imel’s Greenhouse is also looking into the option of expanding their location. “We are looking at putting a new location across the street,” said Kenny. “It’s a year or two years out. But we are looking at a few new playgrounds there.”
Imel’s Greenhouse October hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The greenhouse can be contacted by calling 606.473.1708. More information can be found at www.facebook.com/imelsgreenhouse.
“The community support with all business has been great,” said Kenny. “Everyone has come out to try to support their local folks.”