CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - The dog days of summer coincide with peak tourism. A week after Clear Lake's 4th of July bash, the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce is reporting record revenue with businesses.
Jacki Kelley is a co-owner of GeJo's By the Lake. Due to a massive influx of people last week, GeJo's ran out of food not once, but twice. It's a problem Kelley says isn't a bad thing.
"It means that we took into account what we thought the weekend would be like based on our records. We surpassed those numbers. I can't even tell you the amount of people that we turned away just throughout the day, just because there were no seats available. There were no tables available, literally from the time we opened to the time we closed."
And even if they turned away, customers were understanding, and came back.
"Many of customers literally said 'congratulations, it looks like you're doing so well.' Our locals want us to do well in this community, and they're really grateful and really understanding."
It turns out this year's 4th of July was a record setting year for GeJo's.
"In the time we've owned it, we have records from not only the three years we've owned it, but records that go back over 30 years. And this was absolutely a record week again at GeJo's. It was better than last year, which was better than the year before, and it beats anything else than what we have in our records."
It's the first 4th of July that Stacy Doughan has been the President of the Chamber. While exact figures aren't being disclosed, she says the carnival had a record year, and some businesses reported double the sales from last year's 4th of July celebration.
"We had Arch Allies in the park, we saw over 10,000 people in the park on Friday. And people stayed for the fireworks, and it made for a really big day on Friday in addition to Thursday."
With talk of development at the I-35 and Highway 122 intersection, she says the rewards of increased tourism can extend throughout the community.
"We're halfway between Minneapolis and Des Moines, and to have a place where people can host events and that sort of thing, it's a boost not only to the community, but also to all the businesses that will benefit from that."