Hunter Pew and his mom, Jen, are soaking up the rays at the Bomoseen State Park. Jen Pew says finally having a few hours of sunshine could not have come any sooner.
"It's been challenging to be busy with him for sure," the Proctor mom said. "But, we've been looking at the weather every day and looking for breaks in the rain."
The relentless rain has done more than spoil a few sunny beach days. Park officials say attendance is down 25 percent, and that most of that decline comes from canceled multiday stays. Rick Hedding of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation says the only saving grace so far has been locals coming for the rare break in the clouds.
"A lot of our local folks are pass holders and still come and visit the parks for a few hours. So, that has helped some of our parks still stay close to our numbers from last year," Hedding said.
Around the lake, many other businesses are falling behind. And although Duda Boat Rental relies on water, too much of it means the boats are staying docked.
"The daily business is down substantially from the rain we've had. We need some sunshine; people want to enjoy the sun. We got all ready this season-- we got dressed up for the prom, but nobody showed up to take us!" said Rick Broderick of Duda Boat Rental.
And down the road, the Edgewater Resort is usually full by now. But instead of full books, managers say business is down by 30 percent.
"When they see rain, they are automatically calling up and saying, we are looking at this weather and we cannot make it. So, it has really taken a lot from us lately," said Grace Barber of the Edgewater Resort.
Barber says they want customers to enjoy their stay, but says they feel helpless.
"It is very frustrating," she said. "It is Mother Nature and of course we can't control her. And there is no easy fix about it, just pray to God that it stops."
Park officials say they will be hosting various events, including a free cookout Friday on Lake St. Catherine, with hopes to get more people to the parks, rain or shine.
Sunday, March 9 2014 2:10 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:10:31 GMT
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