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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Chautauqua Businesses Report Strong Summer Season

By Benjamin Klein

As the summer comes to an end, preliminary reports from area businesses indicate a successful season.

Business owners have attributed the strong summer to the combination of scenic weather and lower gas prices in the month of August.

Though there are no official numbers yet on the success of the season for the area, reports from local business owners have been positive. From businesses in the areas surrounding Chautauqua Lake to Randolph, reports indicate that people did in fact vacation closer to home this summer.

Andrew Nixon of the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau said it was a very strong summer, even if it was not as strong as last year, which was a banner year for the county.
Lodging at hotels, camps and condominiums during the months from June through August was very strong. Such a positive turnout for the area may seem surprising with increased gas prices and a slight economic downturn, but this was beneficial for summer tourism visitation patterns.

''I think Americans in general may have been traveling more carefully with less frequent trips. We are a great choice for travelers in our market areas. People in our radius from Cleveland, Buffalo and Rochester rediscovered our area,'' Nixon said.
Dan Dalpra, owner of the Italian Fisherman in Bemus Point, reported a strong season after a slower start at the beginning of summer due to the higher gas prices.
''We were real pleased, a big finish to the season with nice weather and attractions,'' Dalpra said.

The successful tourism season for August coincides with the decrease in gas prices. For area business owners Matt Anderson, manager of Camp Chautauqua and Summer Wind co-owner Marlyn Brainard, August brought visitors in for a strong finish to the summer.

''We had a strong August with a considerable amount of local people and more people from the Buffalo area,'' Brainard said.

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