Saying “so long” to summer

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CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – It certainly feels like summer when you step outside but the season is winding down.

For many people, Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end to summer.

In just hours the calendar changes to September, a season of back-to-school, football games and eventually temperatures falling.

But folks in Clear Lake today turned out to enjoy the last few moments of summer.

While the seasonal change affects many people’s moods it’s also affecting one man’s business

“I’m a newcomer to Clear Lake as far as business goes.”

As a business owner in Clear Lake, Gary Laabs faces two hurdles being new, this is just his second year and relying on summer months to keep his inn/restaurant a float.

“We have such a short season and in order for us to make this work, we have to be busy and it’s all about whether and when the weather is good, we’re slam packed and when the weather is bad, we’re not,” says Laabs.

But gambling on the weather this summer has paid off big time.

“I really haven’t analyzed the numbers for sure but we’re up substantially over last year and with the addition of the patio deck, it’s a lot better than it was last year.”

That may have to do with the amount of people who made their way to Clear Lake this summer.

According to the city’s Chamber of Commerce, tourism is up this year.

And while that statistic is great for business having a large number of people in a town can cause some issues.

“You’re always going to have drinking and boating, we’d like to curb that or at least get a little more responsibility in that. I’d say the 4th of July, that time frame was the peak of alcohol here,” says DNR Conservation Officer, Ben Bergman.

Bergman has however noticed a new trend on the lake, one that is moving in a safer direction.

“We’re starting to see more designated drivers or operators on the boat which we’d like to see more of.”

So despite a slower start to the summer season, it seems to have been a successful one for this tourist town.

Even though summer is about over DNR officials want to remind folks that they still need to be boating safe when enjoying the lakes.

Another sign that the end of summer is near, Clear Lake’s annual beach party.

Hundreds of people are spending time at city beach this weekend to enjoy some fun in the sun.

And those who wanted a little taste of competition entered in a sandcastle making contest or, people could also compete in a cornhole tournament, and according to one party goes, the attendance is up from last year’s party.

“Well I know we have more sand castles being made and it seems to me that we’ve got a lot more people, a lot more people on the lake watching,” says Peter Gardner.

The beach party fun will continue throughout the entire Labor Day weekend.

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