Midweek Fourth sparkles brightly
In fact, it appears that a couple of parades, fireworks displays, a flag raising and even a patriotic sing-along was enough to create a doublebanger — two good weekends for the price of one.
Phil Deering, owner of Deerings Market in Empire, sold tons of beer, pop, sandwiches and other “going to the beach stuff,” not just yesterday, but all week, he said. Instead of having less business for the nation’s birthday, having the holiday falling on a Wednesday bumped up sales, he said.
“It actually looks like it’s going to give us two huge weekends,” Deering said. “The park here in Empire was just out of sight. That’s no surprise because of the weather. Once the weather starts hitting 90 degrees you’ve got nowhere to go but the lake.”
The Bear Paw Pizza & Market in Glen Arbor sold well over 100 pizzas yesterday — a record number, said Stephanie Ewing, co-owner. The store also sold lots of cold drinks — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Stan Brubaker, organizer and originator of the “anything goes” parade in Glen Arbor, said atten- dance may have jumped a bit from 2011 — which was one of the best attended ever. In 2011, the Fourth of July fell on a Monday.
While the Fourth is traditionally the busiest week of the summer, this year was a lot busier than last year, said Ewing, who has owned the market with her husband since 2000. And business is showing no signs of slowing down.
“I think the second part of the week is going to be even bigger, but we’ve already had a great week,” she said.
Robert Stephenson, owner of the Red Lion Motor Lodge, on M-22 in Suttons Bay, said 2012 might just be the biggest he’s seen in the nine years he has owned the 19-room motel. As for the Fourth falling on a Wednesday?
“We were more than full,” Stephenson said. “I fielded all kinds of phone calls for rooms I don’t have. It’s been kind of exceptional.”
If someone shows up without a reservation and needs a room, he also makes calls to other places in the county to see if there are any rooms to be had.
“A lot of them don’t because if we’re full, they’re full,” he said. “So then we have to send them back to Traverse City. There’s more than 3,500 rooms there. Hopefully they can find one.”
Stephenson’s best advice? Make a reservation substantially in advance — weeks or even months ahead, not just a couple of days.
At the Leelanau State Park in Leelanau Township there are just a few campsites currently open and Say Dearing, a summer ranger, expects them to fill by the weekend.
While the vast majority of visitors to the park call ahead for a reservation for one of the park’s 52 rustic campsites, an occasional camper sometimes shows up without calling first. For those people, campground employees will call around to find open spots somewhere else.
“We always try to find a place for someone,” said Dearing, who is working her second summer at the park. “We basically make sure they have a place to sleep for the night.”
People can reserve prime spots up to six months in advance, though most usually call a day ahead, she said.
“The further ahead you reserve, the better campsite you get,” Dearing said.