I understand (it’s the economy, stupid) but boating activity on local lakes has been amazingly low all summer, and appears to be falling year over year. Anecdotal I know, but lake traffic was so low we could ski/tube even on the 4th of July this year (normally too hazardous to attempt). I remember summer holidays that required officers to direct traffic at launch ramps, but this year some parking lots aren’t even full. The 4 restaurants normally open on our lake declined to just one (IIRC, the others gave up by mid-July). There just isn’t enough activity to support them.
I’m curious about any SDMB theories to explain this. I get that the economy is probably worse than the “official” reports, but I would’ve expected an upturn in lake/boating activity as things recovered. I also understand there’s a drought, but locally we have plenty of water for recreational use.
Any ideas? Theories?
The best we can come up with:
- Demographic shift: Young people aren’t starting ($$), old people less active (or less likely on busy weekends).
- Demographic shift (II): Economy recovering, but more for women than men. Women are less likely to spend money on expensive hobbies.
- Economy: It’s much worse than we realize. Maybe even current owners can’t spare the money for gas/maintenance?
- This is very localized (to the lakes I frequent). I don’t know of any websites that track actual usage, rather than sales so I don’t know how busy things are elsewhere.
- Demographic shift (III): Young people are simply interested in other things, and don’t take up the activities (my kids’ take on it… their friends have little interest in an afternoon on the water).
I know I can ask this on a boating website, but I’m curious what you guys think.