Businesses at area lakes hoping for a good Labor Day weekend

Wednesday, September 1st 2004, 9:59 am
By: News On 6

The weather never quite heated up this summer and neither did the business at area lakes, especially marinas that rely on boaters for their livelihood.

News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg says this weekend is the last hurrah for the lakes. Many lake businesses say the activity drops off sharply after Labor Day, because kids are back in school and parents' attentions are focused elsewhere.

The weather has been a lot cooler and rainier than normal this summer. But the owner of the Crystal Bay Marina at Skiatook Lake, Dick Barton says that's just part of the story. He says the high gas prices really hurt business. And he says people just don't seem to have the disposable income they used to. "We have people losing their jobs and being transferred. We have jobs being replaced at $8 or $10 or $11 an hour, instead of $25 or $30 an hour."

Barton says his boat slips and cabins are renting well. But he says his retail sales are down about 30% from three or four years ago.