PORT CLINTON, OH (WTOL) - It's that time of year again - Restaurants and bars of the Lake Erie shores and islands are preparing for tourism season!
This year, the Jet Express is celebrating its 29th anniversary, and along with its standard runs to the Lake Erie islands from Port Clinton and Sandusky, they are also expanding their services to another popular Lake Erie attraction.
At Thursday morning's media day event, the Jet Express announced it will be increasing its runs to Cedar Point by six fold. And it will now become a regular stop between the mainland and the islands.
The collaboration is in its second year and was successful enough to make the increase.
"For the entire Lake Erie shores and islands region it just makes sense for us to connect the dots, I guess. So we're the transportation that's connecting Sandusky to Cedar Point, Kelly's Island, Put-in-Bay, Port Clinton," said Lance Woodworth, General Manager of the Jet Express.
Of the $43 billion in Ohio travel economy, one third of that is generated along the Lake Erie shore.
Another major topic today was the importance of drawing in new visitors who may have an antiquated negative opinion of the area. And once people do make it out to the Lake, their perception is changed for the better.
"Those who actually have visited the Lake Erie shores and islands are 150 percent more likely to view this area as a good place to start a business." said executive director of the Ohio Travel Association Melinda Huntely.
One of the largest attractions on South Bass Island will not be accessible to visitors this Summer. Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial will be undergoing masonry replacement until November. Crews will also remove some old water stains on the granite blocks.
But there will still be plenty of activities in the visitors center and around the park throughout the Summer.
"It also gives us the chance to stretch our skills a little bit, and offer programs that we normally don't get a chance and take a deeper dive into some subjects and introduce some new subjects." said Barbara Fearon, superintendent of Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial.
One of those special events will be a naturalization ceremony that will take place on the Fourth of July.
And though the marina and streets of Put-in-Bay are sparsely populated now, they will soon be filled with visitors who love their Lake Erie experience.