Lake crowds, business drop off after Labor Day

STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) This Labor Day, business owners and regulars at the lakes are winding down their summer on the water.

NewsChannel 15 visited Lake James on Memorial Day weekend as business owners were prepping for summer crowds. Three months later, on the unofficial end of summer, we checked in to see how the season went overall.

“His grandparents are normally up here all the time. So, we get a chance, anytime we can, we come up,” said husband and wife, Black and Taye Fiechter.

Labor Day was bittersweet day for some, like the Fiechters.

“It’s a bummer because winter’s supposed to be cold and long. Yeah, and this last day we’re kinda hoping for a lot of sunshine and not really getting it but we’ll have fun.”

They were visiting The Corner Landing Bait and Tackle to fill up their jet ski for one of the last times this year.

Manager Kirk Bowers, tore down the building last year.

“Some women were intimated by it, didn’t want to come in because it looked like a grungy old bait store, and now it looks a lot nicer, we have different lines and we get quite a variety of people coming in,” said Bowers.

After 17 years of ownership, those improvements paid off.

“It’s probably our best summer so far, so it’s made a big difference,” said Bowers.

However, he said after Labor Day, the Angola population shrinks back to a third of what it was this summer and business drops.

“You can just really see things start to change and it does alter the economy up here,” said Bowers.

“We’ll continue to come up. Like I told her, we usually boat sometimes through October, as long as it’s decently warm,” said Black Fiechter.

Although Bowers likes the business, he’s excited to slow down.

“I’m tired, I’m ready for a few days break but it’s been good, been real good,” said Bowers.

Business owners said although sales drops off, the summer was so good that they’re experimenting with staying open up to one or two months longer.

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