Mixed messages in the local economy
Lander said the heat wave that accompanied the July 4th holiday helped, and the last few weeks of July have “picked up… from horrible.”
Kittatinny Canoes and Campgrounds owner Dave Jones agreed with Lander’s conclusions about the weather, but said the problems go deeper. “The weather is not cooperating, but people don’t have the money to spend. They’ve lost jobs and had hours cut. It impacts everything, even a relatively inexpensive activity like ours. They’re not spending money as they used to,” Jones said.
Despite the apparent downturn in traditional river recreation, some retailers say the traffic on the highway remains heavy.
Peter Merendino of Il Castello Restaurant in Barryville says business “isn’t like it was five or six years ago, but we’re still doing okay.”
Janet Ebers of Barryville’s River Market said 2013 has been a good year, “running close to last year,” which was also a good year. She said the road traffic has been heavy all season long and the store has been getting a lot of return business. The upturn has also translated to better work for store employees.
“I’ve got a few less employees, but we had more part-timers in past. Now, everyone who wants to work full-time is working full-time,” she said.