President Donald J. Trump continues to tout the strong economy his administration has brought to the nation, and Bourne businesses cannot argue with that.
A number of local business people say they have seen an uptick in customers so far this summer season over previous years.
“I think it’s going to be a good summer,” Galon L. (Skip) Barlow said.
Mr. Barlow owns and operates Barlow’s Clam Shack on Scenic Highway in Bournedale. He said that he has definitely seen an increase in business so far this year “even with all the crappy weather.”
He added that business has even been good on days he normally would not expect it to be.
One of the busiest days his restaurant has had so far this summer, he said, was last Wednesday, June 5. The middle of the week typically is not a busy time for him.
“We have a lot of local people coming,” he said, “and people from all over, like New Bedford. Who comes to Bournedale from New Bedford to eat at a restaurant?”
Kristin Koepfer is co-owner of Avocado’s on Barlows Landing Road in Pocasset. Ms. Koepfer, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Peter, agrees with Mr. Barlow about the upsurge in business this season.
She said that she and her husband bought the restaurant in December 2017, and sales have steadily increased since they took over. Business is so good this year, they had to increase their staff by one for the summer season.
“We’re having an amazing year,” she said.
The Town of Bourne is also seeing a slight benefit from the good economy. Sharon Hamilton with the Department of Natural Resources said that sales of shellfish permits are trending higher than a year ago.
“It’s close, but we are ahead of last year,” Ms. Hamilton said.
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Year to date, she said, the town has sold a total of 1,459 shellfish permits of varying types. The town offers resident shellfish permits for $35, which are sold to both Bourne and Sandwich residents. The town also offers shellfish permits for Massachusetts military veterans, senior military veterans, senior residents, Sandwich seniors, and Massachusetts residents who do not live in Bourne.
Bourne’s beach sticker sales are holding steady from last year, Ms. Hamilton said. To date, Ms. Hamilton said, 3,200 beach stickers have been sold. Those include stickers for Bourne residents, senior residents, people who also purchase a shellfish permit, Sandwich residents who bought a shellfish permit, and Massachusetts residents who do not live in Bourne.
Bay Motor Inn owners Frederick W. and Irene P. Carbone said their business dropped off in May with all the rainy weather that hit the Cape. The couple’s business relies heavily on fishermen who come to fish the Cape Cod Canal, but with 23 rain days last month, “business stunk,” Mr. Carbone said.
“The fish didn’t come in because of the cold waters,” he said, “so the fishermen didn’t come in. They didn’t show up until late May.”
Business has picked up since Memorial Day weekend, he acknowledged. Last weekendJune 7-9, Mr. Carbone said, the inn had no vacancies.
Ms. Carbone concurred about the downturn in business last month. She said they were off about 20 percent from last year. However, the remainder of the summer is shaping up well, she said. While they do have some rooms and dates available, a lot of their repeat business has already reserved through Labor Day weekend, she said.
“We have 85 percent repeat from two weeks ago through the end of the season, Labor Day,” she said.
At the Mezza Luna, owner EJ Cubellis said it is evident to him that the economy is better. He said that translates into people who dine at his restaurant having a second glass of wine, or ordering a dessert they might not otherwise have.
Mr. Cubellis described his business as steady and consistent, and a place that is primarily patronized by locals. He said that the Mezza Luna’s best months this time of year are August and September. It is “not the busiest place in July,” as it is not the cheapest restaurant in town.
He said that many of the visitors to Bourne in the summer are families. After paying all the expenses associated with spending a day at the beach, most are not looking to spend the money it costs to dine at the Mezza Luna, he said.
He said that he does not hire a lot of summer staff, preferring to offer overtime to his year-round employees.
“Maybe a couple of bus kids, prep cooks, even a dishwasher and a waitress or two,” he said.