OTTAWA COUNTY (WTOL) - Tourism officials worry fewer folks will be lining up this summer to visit attractions around Lake Erie like the Marblehead lighthouse. The concern is that visitors will stay home because of the recession and job insecurity.
The focus is to get them to vacation closer to home. "They're gonna want to do their vacation - not go to Florida, Hawaii or North Carolina this year. Hopefully, they'll be coming to our shoreline and checking out Lake Erie," said Jill Bauer with Lake Erie Shores and Islands.
The difference this year is that everyone is looking for a bargain. That's where the Shore Savings card comes in. It's being offered by the tourism group Lake Erie Shores and Islands. You can visit the web or call:
- 1-800-255-3743 (East)
- 1-800-441-1271 (West)
Deep discounts are offered for area attractions, restaurants, lodging, fishing, charters and shops. "It's really good for our advertisers because they can change their deals based on what their business is. Having a slow week, up their deals off 50% off or something like that," said Bauer.
It appears to be working for businesses like the Victorian Inn in Marblehead. The deal there is stay one night, and the second night is free Sunday through Thursday. Ann Duez with the Victoria Inn tells us, "I booked fifteen rooms yesterday, and it was off my weekday special. I've been doing this for a long time, and our repeat business is phenomenal."
Operators of the Jet Express want to keep their boats full too. The card gets you $4 off an adult Island Hopping package Sunday through Thursday.
The goal is to keep $1.8 billion in tourist dollars flowing into the area.