July 4 provides wave of tourism

09 Jul 2020 10:22 AM
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This region saw heavy tourism over the Fourth of July weekend, with the rush of visitors standing in stark contrast to the last four months of few tourists visiting this area amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Ongoing closure of the U.S.-Canada border essentially take off Canadian visitors’ usage of the Adirondacks, but nevertheless, many trailhead parking lots were overflowing over the holiday weekend.

The Fourth of July weekend is generally among the busiest weekends of the growing season for tourism here.

State Department of Environmental Conservation’s forest rangers were kept busy, giving an answer to two rescues and one search in the Large Peaks Wilderness, and one rescue in the Taylor Pond Crazy Forest over the weekend, according to DEC spokesman David Winchell. Rangers also ticketed two hikers for camping above 4,000 feet in elevation, having a campfire in the eastern Superior Peaks Wilderness rather than by using a bear-resistant canister, he said.

On state Route 73, where in fact the DEC imposed a roadside parking ban along a 4-mile stretch this past year, forest rangers issued 20 car parking tickets for vehicles parked illegally.

Lake Placid’s Main Road was also packed as soon as Friday afternoon, with many pedestrians opting never to wear masks while walking outdoors - something village officials expressed concern about at the last Table of Trustees appointment in June.

Some Tri-Lakes area boat launches also saw increased use.

Although occupancy tax figures aren’t in yet - which would provide a sense of just how many hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, hostel and Airbnb bedrooms were booked - Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism Director of Marketing Michelle Clement said responses from the owners of lodging properties indicate that bookings were strong.

ROOST just lately graduated from its “Network Jumpstart” phase of advertising, which was designed to entice tourists from within the North Country region to visit Lake Placid and other towns and villages that any office has agreements with. Clement said any office is now targeting a broader target audience with “travel-structured messaging that extends out the Albany/Schenectady/Troy, Utica, and Syracuse DMAs (Designated Advertising Areas).”

Just before the vacation weekend, on July 1, Essex County Health Department Public Data Officer Andrea Whitmarsh said the steady trickle of vacationers hadn’t contributed to the quantity of local COVID-19 situations yet.

“We've had cases linked to travel, but it’s typically been limited to Essex County residents planing a trip to other areas and coming back with their homes here,” she explained. “These areas include NYC, other states within the U.S. and nations.” At that time, there were zero active conditions of COVID-19 found in the county.

There were four active cases reported in Essex County as of Tuesday, three more than this beyond Thursday, prior to the Fourth of July weekend and ahead of a second Ward Lumber employee tested positive for COVID-19.

While of Wednesday, there were two active conditions of COVID-19 reported found in Franklin County, three less than this past Thursday.

But the impact of Fourth of July tourism on local COVID-19 cases isn’t clear yet.

“It is difficult to determine by yet when there is an uptick because of tourism,” Franklin County manager Donna Kissane said Wednesday.

People typically start to experience respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 an average of five to six days after exposure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Avoidance, though some persons have started experiencing symptoms the moment two days afterward or given that 2 weeks after they’re subjected to the coronavirus.

In addition delay, Kissane said COVID-19 test outcomes typically have between three to seven days to process.