Rhode Island beaches see smaller turnout - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Rhode Island beaches see smaller turnout

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Nicole Gerber

NGerber@abc6.com

NEWPORT, RI -

Typically Labor Day weekend means packed beaches across the state. But weather didn't quite cooperate today, and new numbers show there's been a low turn-out all summer long.

According to the Providence Journal, the Department of Environmental Management says that attendance at the seven state beaches fell 21% between last summer and this summer. That's calculating up until August 24th.

One of the major factor in this year's attendance drop is the dreary summer weather we've seen.

"Three straight days on a holiday weekend...which is too bad. You know people look forward to this last weekend of the summer and it's just not going to happen as far as a beach day," said Elaine Hart, visiting Easton's beach earlier today.

For some local businesses a low beach turnout means less foot traffic in town...which can put them in a tough spot financially.

"I'm actually seasonal here so I depend on these three months," said Rhea Crea, owner of Rhea's Cafe. "When the weather is really bad, there aren't many people so it hurts us.

Despite the clouds and occasional bouts of rain on this Labor Day, there were still a handful of brave beach-goers who took to the waters. According to visitor Aaron Solomon, "It doesn't matter that it's overcast, it doesn't matter that the sun is barely shining, it doesn't matter that the water's cold. The kids wanted to play on the beach and we had a really good time and it's fine actually once you get used to it. It's really not so bad."

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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