Tourism season kicks off in the Thousand Islands

Updated: May. 25, 2020 at 6:33 PM EDT
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CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - Clayton shop owners got creative for Memorial Day and offered curbside pick up for customers.

Stores can’t open fully in Phase 1 but at shops like the Golden Cleat:

“People can literally window shop,” said Emilie Cardinaux, owner of The Golden Cleat.

Cardinaux says while Riverside Drive might not have seen it’s usual crowds for a holiday weekend,

“We did see a big up tick in traffic and in sales this weekend with people coming back. And it was such glorious weather, everyone was putting their boats in and wanting to walk around,” said Cardinaux.

Connecticut man Quentin Rueckert and his son were among the people enjoying time out on the water.

“It was just beautiful. We had two beautiful days. It was nice to get away and get out. It’s not as busy, anywhere near as much as I’ve seen it in previous Memorial Days,” said Rueckert.

Meanwhile in Alexandria Bay, some stores were also doing curbside pick-up and restaurants were ready for take-out orders.

“We stopped, brought a few sweatshirts, and brought a little bit of this and that,” said David Mastropietro who was visiting the area from Auburn, NY.

But business owners say traffic is definitely down from last Memorial Day.

“It was really a lot slower than a typical Memorial Day weekend. Business is down probably down about 75, 80 percent,” said Riley’s by the River manager Riley Thomson.

However, Thousand Islands business owners are still hoping things will pick up as the north country continues to re-open.

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