Some local businesses in Pismo Beach have reported a decline in sales this Labor Day weekend compared to last year, and they blame the weather for the disappointing turnout.
Foggy and chilly conditions discourage beachgoers
Bill Bookout, owner of Pismo Surf Shop and Pismo Bike Rentals, has been running his business since 1999 and says this Labor Day is one of his slower years for sales.
“We’re down probably 20% from last year,” Bookout said.
He attributes the drop in revenue to the foggy and chilly conditions that have persisted throughout the weekend, discouraging people from enjoying the beach activities that his shop offers.
“The fog is a hindrance to people spending money on stuff whereas if it wasn’t so foggy, we would probably be a lot busier,” Bookout said.
Bob Wexler, co-owner of Ashtie’s Beach Shake, agrees with Bookout’s assessment. He says his business, which sells ice cream and smoothies, has also seen a significant decrease in customers this weekend.
“It’s been down a lot since last year,” Wexler said. “It was slower than normal Friday. Saturday was slower because of the weather, plus with people coming into town there is a lack of parking.”
Wexler says Labor Day weekend is usually their last big “hurrah” for the year, but this year it just started slow.
Businesses hope for a sunny Monday
Despite the gloomy weather, some businesses are hopeful that Monday will bring more sunshine and more customers to the beach.
“I’m blaming it on the weather…I’m blaming it on that cloud structure ahead of us …it’s not sunny so people are not out and about but tomorrow is supposed to be nice,” Bookout said.
According to the National Weather Service, Monday’s forecast for Pismo Beach is partly sunny with a high of 69 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 56 degrees Fahrenheit. There is also a slight chance of showers in the afternoon.
Some businesses are planning to offer special deals or discounts to attract more customers on Monday.
“We’re going to do a buy one get one free on our smoothies tomorrow,” Wexler said. “We’re hoping that will bring some people in.”
Other businesses are relying on their loyal customers and regular visitors to keep them afloat during the slow season.
“We have a lot of repeat customers that come every year,” Bookout said. “They know us by name and they support us.”
Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer for many
Labor Day weekend is traditionally considered the unofficial end of summer for many Americans, as schools resume classes and vacationers return to their normal routines.
According to AAA, more than 42 million people were expected to travel this Labor Day weekend, up 4% from last year. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the surge of the Delta variant, some travelers may have changed their plans or opted for safer destinations.
For some local businesses in Pismo Beach, this Labor Day weekend has not been as profitable as they had hoped, but they are grateful for the customers they have and optimistic about the future.
“We’re just happy to be here and we’re happy to serve our customers,” Wexler said. “We’re looking forward to next year.”