LAKE GEORGE - Lake George business owners and managers - distressed in July over the daily rain that dampened sales - expressed enthusiasm Monday over the tourism traffic concluding the summer, particularly the long Labor Day weekend.
"We have had very strong business - this has been the best Labor Day in years," said Lake George Super 8 Motel co-owner Judy Crocitto. "We haven't seen traffic like this in Lake George all summer long - this has been a phenomenal weekend."
John Carr, owner of Canada Street enterprises Adirondack Pub & Brewery and Common Man's Bistro, said sales were robust, and the brewery's sales for Labor Day weekend were about 10 percent over a comparable weekend last year, a season-long growth rate the tavern has sustained for years.
"It was very busy this weekend - our sales are up." he said. "A lot of people were feeling the need to get out and enjoy summertime after all that rain."
Carr said the sunny weather this past week had prompted the increase of tourism back to traditional levels.
"There were a lot of day-trippers visiting that were grabbing for that last bit of summer," he said. "Tourists should know it's beautiful here in October, too."
Boaters were back on the waters of Lake George enjoying the experience, marina managers said.
Scott Andersen, general manager of F.R. Smith & Sons Marina, said although there was some rough water for portions of the weekend, Saturday and Sunday were good, and that business was strong.
"We had a great weekend, and we're very happy to have nice weather," he said. "July was a very difficult month with the rain, and August was a welcome relief from all that."
Andersen said he was looking forward to autumn.
"Hopefully for all businesses in town, weather remains good and we have a prosperous fall," he said.
Bill Manion, owner of the Molly Malone's Irish Gifts said that sales were strong over the weekend, which made up partially for the depressed sales in July due to the soggy weather that set records for rainfall.
"July was a bummer," he said. "If we could have the whole summer like this past weekend, this summer would have been wonderful."
Saturday started out with vacant streets, which worried him until he realized it was only 7 a.m, he said.
"I cheered up when people really started rolling in," he said. "At times, traffic was backed up from Beach Rd. up the hill past Fort William Henry - and I thought, 'This is a good sign.'"
Manion said he was looking forward to a strong fall tourist season, in contrast to the worries persisting elsewhere in the nation over the economy.
"All my friends I've talked to said they had business this weekend like gangbusters," he said.