Last Big Weekend of Summer? Maybe Not.
The "No Vacancy" sign at the Wellesley Island State Park entrance says it all: There's no room at the inn this weekend.
"420 sites and they're full. There's no wiggle room this weekend," said Dan Heneka, Wellesley Island State Park Manager.
That's because for many people, Labor Day Weekend is the unofficial end to summer, and boaters and campers are enjoying a last hurrah before school starts and the weather turns cold.
But after all the warm weather we've had this summer, and with a nice forecast ahead; this summer season at the state parks doesn't have to end just yet.
"The next three weekends, the next three weeks, let's come out and camp," Heneka said.
And with campers still coming, places like the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center stay busy. Workers there hope it's a trend that continues as the center is open all year. That's something visitors often forget.
"The Nature Center is 600 acres and that's half of the park, so there's a lot of things to in the park, but we're a big part of it, so come and visit us!" said the Nature Center's Kimbrie Cullen
So with the park still full, you would think businesses in the area would be reaping the benefits, too. In a lot of cases, they are.
But while some business owners told us they were enjoying a big summer, it's not true for everyone.
"We're way way down on our census as far as in the past. These people are here, they're just not spending," said Myrtle Calhoun of the "Nut' N Fanci" restaurant.
Calhoun says empty seats have been too common this summer, especially at the restaurant's usually popular weekend breakfast buffet.
"We did less than 40 breakfasts this morning, and that's unusual. They've done 200 to 300 in the past on a weekend," she said.
And because of that, owners may close the restaurant for the season earlier than they ever have before - even as the nearby state park keeps packing people in.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013, Watertown, NY
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