LAKE GEORGE - Commercial activity this summer in Lake George is off to a robust start, municipal officials and business owners reported Monday.
Lake George Town Board member Vinnie Crocitto, owner of both Lake George Super 8 Motel and the Lake Motel, said business was brisker this summer than last year, up about 15 to 20 percent.
"Business is much stronger this year than last summer," he said. "Good weather is key."
Lake George Supervisor Frank McCoy said that Smith Travel Report, a national gauge of economic activity for accommodations, showed that business was up 9 percent over 2009 in Warren County during the Fourth of July weekend, and hotels and motels in lake George were filled to 96 percent of their capacity, on an overall average this year. "I haven't seen this many vacationers for five years or so," he said. "On the Fourth of July, the village was jammed."
McCoy reported that after the Fourth of July fireworks show, traffic snarls in the village had motorists backed up for three or more hours. He said some visitors weren't able to exit the village by car until after 1 a.m.
Lake George Village Mayor Robert Blais reported last week that the village's water treatment plant pumped 1.4 million gallons on July 5 - close to record amounts - and a little less in the adjacent days. Sewage and water flows have traditionally been a reliable indicator of the size of crowds in Lake George.
Scott Wood, owner of the Lobster Pot Restaurant credited the warm weather for the influx of visitors and the thriving commerce.
"We've seen a lot of big families here this year," Wood said. "On Memorial Day business was very good."
Warren County has reported that bed tax has increased 11.8 percent in June over June 2009. Area tourism officials have said that the offerings and facility upgrades that are ongoing in Lake George have contributed to the tourism growth. County Supervisors have credited the county tourism department's new marketing techniques, including their video on demand, interactive advertising, Internet presence and email blasts as being key factors in the growth.
Area tourism officials have also said that in an uncertain economy, vacationers tend to rediscover nearby destinations they might have once overlooked, and Lake George is close to millions of people who are eager to enjoy an active, affordable getaway.
One thing they all agree on, is that weather is a major factor in ringing the cash register.
The prevailing hot, sunny weather lately has lured thousands of additional visitors to lake George, seeking a respite from the heat.
John Carr, owner of the Moose Tooth Grill and Adirondack Pub & Brewery, distilled the heat-tourism relationship into a few words on Tuesday.
"June's weather was one of the best on record," he said noting that his business receipts were up about 20 percent. "And warm weather mean people drink more beer - that's my theory."