Despite initial concerns and a sluggish start, the overnight visitor rate is up by about 6 percent for the first five months of the year, said Grand Haven Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Marci Cisneros.
Cisneros said they can’t pinpoint the reason behind the increase, but it could be a result of the economy picking up and consumer confidence on the rise.
“Weather is a wild card,” she said.
Rainy days and cooler water also caused a slow start for fishermen itching to throw in a line.
John Stillson, of Lakeview Marine & Tackle in Grand Haven, said it wasn't until the beginning of June when business took off for the summer. Fish normally start biting in May, he said.
Stillson said some diehards still took to the waters, but warming and cooling spells put spawning behind schedule, and bluegills didn’t move into shallow waters until later.
“The fish didn’t want to bite,” he said.
Business has picked up since June, he said. Steelhead biting off the pier is helping get the fish-and-tackle business on track.
A rainy May dampened business a bit at Pronto Pups in downtown Grand Haven. Owner Carl Nelson said their sales were down about 10 percent from last year’s warmer May.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.