North Country tourism increasing for the summer season

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 11:43 PM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - Plattsburgh City Beach is now open. As peak tourism season heats up in the North Country Visitors are already traveling to the area to catch some rays.

While it was still a little too cool to think about taking a dip on Friday, that didn’t stop a handful of people from soaking in the sun to start the long weekend.

“It’s nice,” said Émilie Ratelle from Montreal. “It’s not very hot at the moment, but it’s nice to just walk around.”

Joyce St. Pierre is also a first time visitor from Montreal. “I see they have a dog park, which is fun,” she said. “There’s volleyball. But for me it’s just the beach and nature.”

Kristy Kennedy with the North Country Chamber says most of the tourism in the area comes from across the northern border. COVID kept a lot of Canadians home, but they’re prepared for foot-traffic to bounce back this summer, as almost all of the border restrictions were lifted this month.

“Anything holding people from coming has been taken away,” Kennedy said. “We saw really strong numbers. We were about 70 to 75% return, so it’s just going to keep going up again.”

The beach also attracts a lot of visitors from Vermont and other parts of New York. Mayor Chris Rosenquest says the city has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve the waterfront area over the past several years. The latest change is the Crete Center demolition. “When we return that property back to green space, it’ll be open space that people can use and play on,” he said.

By next week temperatures will be a little warmer. Everyone we talked to Friday says they’ll definitely be back then to sink their toes in the sand and take a dip. The beach is open seven days a week until Labor Day. Parking will once again be free to city and town residents.