Brandon Richardson is a business reporter, covering everything from real estate and healthcare to the airport and port to city hall and the economy. He is a Long Beach native who has been with the Business Journal since graduating from Long Beach City College in spring 2016 with an associate’s degree in journalism. He is an avid record collector and concert goer.

‘They barely survived’: Catalina businesses are reveling in increased visitor counts after catastrophic year

When coronavirus swept across the globe in early 2020, Catalina’s tourism economy was decimated. Since 2014, the island getaway has consistently welcomed more than one million annual visitors. But last year, that number was cut in half to just over 500,000, according to Love Catalina Island, the island’s chamber of commerce and visitor’s bureau.

IN PICTURES: Visitors are flocking back to Catalina Island for outdoor adventures and fun in the sun

After one of the most challenging health and economic crises in Catalina Island’s history, visitors are returning to the island for an outdoor getaway. From the water to the sky, adventurers are enjoying the fresh air and sunshine of island life. Unavailable through much of the pandemic, the island’s recreational offerings are booming, including kayaking, zip lining, a ropes course, tours and more.