Posted at: 07/05/2014 5:45 PM
Updated at: 07/05/2014 10:19 PM
By: Travis Dill
The Fourth of July came and went with a bang, but Duluth businesses are cashing in on the long holiday weekend as a massive flock of tourists enjoys the summer weather.
Tourists were soaking up the sun in Canal Park on Saturday, which is a big change from just a few weeks ago according to the general manager of Comfort Suites.
“Well, we're looking forward to picking up. We're looking forward to people coming out of their slumber from a long winter, and it seems like it was a little bit of a late start but they're now coming out and enjoying summer,” Janell Mussman said.
The Fourth of July has her hotel with over 100 rooms completely booked. She said business was booming like the fireworks this weekend.
“Oh it means being able to maximize our revenue. It means that we were able to serve more people. Hopefully we'll have them come back again in the future and show them what we're all about here in Canal Park,” Mussman said.
The Duluth fireworks display was pretty impressive for Lee Majkrzak who was visiting from Chicago.
“I would say it was pretty comparable. It was at least a 10 minute firework presentation and the grand finale was pretty solid,” Majkrzak said.
His hometown is right next to a Great Lake too, but he said Duluth and Lake Superior have a different vibe.
“It's a really laid back feel. So far, we've only been here half a day, but it's got a good feel. We're just excited to get some breakfast and kind of bike around a little bit,” Majkrzak said.
Combine the laid back feel with the warm weather and tourists like him were venturing to businesses across Duluth. That made it hard to find a seat at Uncle Loui's Cafe.
“Bright and early they were waiting at the door at a quarter to 7. They were out in a line. It's a busy, busy weekend,” owner Debby Strop said.
She said tourists were ordering everything from French toast to country fried steak.
“It's amazing. We're busy. Lots of tourists, different faces, friendly faces, they're all having a ball in Duluth. They're enjoying the weather. Thank goodness it's finally summer,” Strop said.
The summer feeling had Majkrzak thinking about another business unique to Lake Superior: chartered fishing.
“If we had time we'd love to go fishing a little bit. I don't necessarily trust some of the fish that you can catch in Chicago, and I've heard there are some pretty good spots up here,” Majkrzak said.
Summer finally hit the Northland this holiday weekend, and tourism is rocketing back along with the Fourth of July.