Businesses on Lake Pepin hope for bounce-back summer season
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – These past few summers, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing out on Lake Pepin, which has businesses that thrive on summer tourism hoping for an especially good season ahead.
“2020, we didn’t operate at all because of the pandemic,” said Larry Nelson, Pearl of the Lake owner. “Last year, we got a little bit of a slow start. But, then the water was very low.”
The Pearl of the Lake didn’t set sail at all in the summer of 2020, which cost them nearly $250,000 in revenue. Nielson hopes that this summer will be different for a variety of reasons.
“I believe this will be our best year ever, and we’ve been in business for 16 years,” said Nielson.
Nielson says he’s getting more reservations for private events than ever before, and that the cost of fuel is not impacting his business.
“We think there’s a pent-up demand, people want to get outside and enjoy some of the nice weather we’re gonna have,” said Nielson.
At Hok Si La Park and Campground, park manager Lisa Quest says reservations are on par for a regular memorial day weekend.
“We’re probably going to be seeing between 200 and 400 people in the park this weekend,” said Quest.
The park has a lot of guests that return every year for the holiday weekend, but by-and-large, people aren’t changing their plans due to rising travel costs.
“We haven’t seen that so far, or we haven’t been getting calls for cancellations or anything like that. Seems like the weather is more of a factor,” said Quest.
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