Summer Brings in the Numbers
The summer season is setting, and people are making their way back home.
Travel is winding down, meaning less tourists passing through our region.
Goldie Davich works at Patina, a consignment shop in downtown Yakima.
She says she's seen business boom this season, unlike previous years.
"Saturday night, we had a store full of ten different tourists, we didn't even have anyone from Yakima," said Davich, "That kind of blew my mind."
Both the Yakima Valley and Columbia Basin saw large spikes in tourism numbers this summer.
The Tri-Cities area saw a 13% increase in hotel occupancy numbers around this time of the year, while the Yakima Valley area saw about 23%.
Our region is known for our sporting events and business conventions, however not as many people made their way for business, in fact, it was mostly pleasure.
"People are traveling here to come to B-Reactor yours or perhaps enjoy our outdoor recereation, or the wineries," said Tri-Cities visitor and convention president Kim Shugart.
To put it plainly, people are coming to our area to simply enjoy what's always been here. Now there's just more of them.
"We will still be a destination for conferences, conventions, sporting events, and even business travel," said John Cooper from Yakima Valley Tourism, "But I think as a leisure destination, we're seeing more and more people coming to see the valley summer and year-round."
For shops like Patina, more business is always pleasing to the eye.
"It's made a huge difference, there's just this bonus wave that you can bank on, I think people have for years," said Davich, "So retail-wise, you do have something to look forward to."