Msg 1 Posted: 07:44 AM 08/11/06 (CST)
Mesabi Daily News
Thursday, August 10th, 2006 07:04:56 PM
LAKE VERMILION A gallon of gas on the lake?
Average price $3.50.
A full 30 gallon tank?
A day on the water?
Its seems its going to take more than $3.59 a gallon to slow dock boaters in northern Minnesota this summer.
For the most part, resort and marina owners on Lake Vermilion are seeing the same amount of traffic this summer as in years past
Some businesses, like Timbuktu Marina on the Cook end of the lake, are seeing more traffic.
Its been pretty busy, said employee John Miedtka. It gets busier every year. Weve been filling up more gas than we ever have (this summer).
While not everyone is pumping more petro, many resorts and marinas seem to be sailing through the summer just fine.
I havent noticed any reluctance from people to go if they are on vacation, Grubens Marina owner Sally Gruben said. I dont think it affects them. They understand what it is and budget for it.
Gas prices on Lake Vermilion are averaging about $3.50 depending on where boaters fill up.
I dont think (prices) slow people down much, Miedtka said. People want to have fun.
Miedtka added that all size boats are coming through Timbuktu from 16-foot fishing boats to big cruisers.
Sally Berquist, who manages the Fortune Bay Resort and Casino Marina with her husband Capt. Bob Berquist, said shes noticed a slight difference but nothing remarkable.
She also said pontoon rentals are on par with last summer.
I dont seem to be pumping as much gas as usual, Berquist said. We dont seem to have as many boats on the dock as in the past.
Berquist added that the marina area has been under construction this year as well, which might account for a slight drop in traffic.
People who havent been here before and want to see the lake are going to (tour the lake), Berquist said. Those who come to the lake (to see the lake) are going to go. (Gas prices) arent going to stop them.
Randy Kladivo, owner of Shamrock Marina and Resort, said the traffic is a little lighter this summer but again, there hasnt been a noticeable drop-off.
Some people have changed their habits a little bit but not a lot. You can notice fewer boats running around but that changes from weekend to weekend, Kladivo said. I think the average property owner on Vermilion ... the price of gas doesnt make a difference to them.
And apparently for anglers and vacationing families looking for a summer break on the lake, the size of the boats gas tank doesnt make much difference either.
Kathy Dougherty, one of the owners of Rainy Lake Houseboats on Rainy Lake, said its been a busy summer and reservations for next year are steadily coming in.
Its been pretty good. Our houseboats are busier than ever, she said, adding that gas at Rainy Lake is about $3.85 a gallon and it costs roughly $200 to $300 to fill a houseboat tank.
I think people consider their vacations a high priority. My personal feeling is I think gas prices affect what type of car people buy and not vacations, she said.
However, Dougherty did admit that if prices continue to rise in the future there may come a point where the price of gas may start to sink family vacation plans.
I suppose we all worry about that. Hopefully we wont get to that, she said