Boaters, businesses celebrating Memorial Day boost - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Boaters, businesses celebrating Memorial Day boost

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LAKE FENTON (WJRT) - (05/26/14) - For many, the long Memorial Day weekend is the first chance of the year to enjoy summer fun with family.

The sun is finally shining, and most of our recent rain is long gone.

As we witnessed on Memorial Day, people were ready to trade in their snowsuits for swimsuits on Lake Fenton, after a rough winter.

"I am very excited about being able to get out there and relax, and you know, just soak in some sun," said Laurie Prochazka, a Genesee County boat owner.

This year, the unofficial start to summer actually feels like summer.

Even well before noon, the public boat launch along Lake Fenton was packed.

Prochazka has been waiting all too long to enjoy the sights and sounds of summer. "Finally after this long, long winter. We upgraded to a new, used boat so this is the inaugural launch."

While the water is still cold, it seems everyone has the same summer vision.

We just float around basically, have snacks. Kids like to swim, we're going to try some fishing today," said Greg Kowalski, a boat owner from Grand Blanc.

The Kowalski's, and others like them, came prepared. Long before they launched, they had loaded up.

"Lunch meat, drinks for the kids, yeah, all the snacks basically what we fill up on. So, got a cooler full of cold stuff, so we're ready to go," Kowalski said.

"Get the ice, make sure the skis were working, get a couple extra life jackets. Got a couple of grandchildren now so get the baby life jackets," Prochazka said.

Already some businesses have seen stronger sales since the weather improved.

"People just couldn't wait for the weather to break, just we've all had a long winter, you know everybody's been itching to get out," said Loay Setto, owner of the Lakeside Market along Lake Fenton.

Once people could finally enjoy the water, more customers started showing up at Lakeside Market.

"They've been buying pretty much everything, everything to take on the boat from alcoholic beverages to snacks," Setto said. "Definitely holiday makes a big difference."

At SkipperBud's, they didn't have to wait until the sun started shining to see sales skyrocket.

"We actually had a very large increase, about a 260 percent year over year in sales," said Doug Lynch, business manager at SkipperBud's.

Memorial Day weekend has been busy, but Lynch says people got the summer itch a few months ago. "The boat shows were really a big sellers for us. So I think people were just really tired of the cold and ready to get on the water."

With every boat sold or launched, business owners are more hopeful this summer will be one to remember.

"This year is definitely better than last year," Setto said.

Making the unofficial start of summer even better, we had three solid days of sun to keep people outside.
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