Business booms on Fourth weekend
July 7, 2008
Fireworks might as well have exploded at Sunnyside Steakhouse andamp; Lodge Friday, as the restaurants business boomed for the Fourth of July.We shattered our old records, bar manager Raif Anderson said.The restaurant had more business Friday than it did the month of November, he said. The staff served about 400 dinners each night of the long weekend and about 1,200 lunches each day.Anderson said he was expecting to be busy, but not anticipating to break records. He served so many drinks that the bar ran out of a few products, namely some vodka brands.I pulled a couple of hairs out, he said. My forehead got a little bigger.But the stress of the chaos was well worth it. Not only did the business make money, but the staff walked away with healthy tips, which is exactly what the local economy needs, Anderson said.Those who waited in traffic during the weekend are aware that the Basin was busy for the Fourth, and not only on the West Shore. It was a terrific weekend, said Cheri Sprenger, executive director of the North Tahoe Business Association.Sprenger said the Kings Beach area businesses she visited Friday were excited about the crowds and good weather.Artists in the weekends Arts and Craft Fair did not expect as many people, and restaurants ran out of products, she said.Attendance for Thursdays fireworks and deck party was up from last year, and the business associations sponsorship is up this year as well.Sprenger said she is hoping the weekends success is a positive start to a busy summer.Truckees economy also benefited from the holiday weekend. About 3,500 customers visited Mountain Hardware andamp; Sports Saturday and Sunday. That is double the number of customers during a typical non-holiday weekend, Operations Manager Sarah Britto estimated.The store was fully staffed and busy all week, she said. Common items purchased were clothes, umbrellas, barbecues and paint.It was pretty chaotic, she said. The Fourth of July is always huge for us.The Fourth of July is usually huge for the river rafting companies, too, but this year was slower than normal.Although he has no idea how many boats went down the river, Truckee River Raft Company Office Manager Gary Perona said Friday was significantly slower than last year. Saturday was much busier, and Sunday was average.Perona said he blames the slower holiday partially on the no-alcohol ban that was in effect during the long weekend.Just a much slower Fourth, he said.