Weather Affecting Summer Tourism?

By: Paige Lambrecht
By: Paige Lambrecht

The conditions haven't been ideal for camping this summer, but someone forgot to tell the campers. At Rib Mountain State Park, manager William Bursaw says it's been a busy couple of months.

"We haven't seen any affect because of the weather. We're pretty much full on weekends and we get quite a few campers during the week."

It's a similar situation at campsites all around northcentral Wisconsin. No one we talked to has seen a drop in business. Campsites may still be getting good business, but when the rain and the winds come out, a lot of campers head into town and indoors, and that migration inside is part of the reason that attractions like the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau are seeing an increase in visitors.

Marcia Theel is assistant director of the museum.

“A couple who was from Idaho, and they were camping in Merrill and came to the museum because it was raining and they said, this is not good camping weather," she says.

Those in the tourism industry say they aren't surprised that, despite the weather, business is still good. Some suggest it's because Wisconsin's summer season is already so short. Others say these travelers, many of whom are Wisconsinites, are just a hardier bunch.

Bursaw agrees, "Have to be, got January and February to live through."