Monrovia Travel, a well-known commodity on Myrtle Avenue for more than 70 years, is closing its brick and mortar store front. But take heart, COVID-19 has not forced another small business to shut, but rather to reorganize. The business will continue online and via the phone.
According to Denise Harvey, who owns the travel agency, “Most of our business is done online already with phone calls as well. Very few people actually come in.”
And so, she has decided to switch to telecommuting and marketing. The agents will all continue at the same phone number and email but will work remotely rather than on Myrtle Avenue. Agents will still be available to meet with clients in person, at their request.
Saying that she had been considering this move for some time, Harvey added that while the coronavirus crackdown had impacted her business from the travel perspective, she has kept up with work. There are few people on Myrtle Avenue, but they have rarely had a lot of walk-in business, so the switch seemed timely to her.
“There has been one positive aspect of the shutdowns,” Harvey quipped. “I have never been able to find a parking place so easily.
The Harvey family has owned the business since 1985 with Denise taking over the reins upon the retirement of her parents. But according to Steve Baker, the Monrovia city historian, the earliest listing for “Monrovia Travel” in the city directories was 1950. Harvey believes that this business was a successor to other such agencies. She had been told that the original agency was a delivery site for hay and sold trolley and train tickets back as early as 1929.
“I am really positive about this change,” Harvey said. “Most of my customers have been coming back to me for years.”
She pointed out that having an agent in these days of cancellations and cutbacks has been an advantage to many people. “Having someone who knows how to deal with the system can save people in the long run.”