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Businesses get boost on Labor Day
The parking lot was packed, and the line for the deli filled Granzella's during a busy Labor Day weekend as businesses throughout the county tried to capitalize on holiday travel.
"We looked at records, and we're kind of even with last year. But previous years, we'd been down," said Bill McCarty, a co-owner of Granzella's.
The restaurant, deli, sports bar, bakery and hotel pulls travelers from Interstate 5.
He said business was down from 2008 to 2011. In "2012, it started to come back." The business's experience matches the national trend and expectations.
A forecast from AAA projected that more Americans would travel for the three-day weekend than any year since the recession hit in 2008.
More than 3.9 million Californians were expected to travel 50 miles or more, mostly by vehicle, an increase of about 6 percent from last year.
Tommy's Market Street Grill saw a bit of the action.
"We were closed (Monday), but the weekend, with dove season, we were pretty busy. I had a lot of people I didn't recognize," said owner Tom Indrieri.
He said business was probably up about 15 percent. "We had quite a few hunters," Indrieri said.
Those hunters, however, seemed to have their gear before they came to town.
Kittle's Outdoor & Sport had a sale over the weekend, but only saw average business.
"Business was decent. It was no different than any other weekend to be honest," said Daniel Vaca, manager of the store's gun department.
Dove season opened on Sept. 1 and salmon season is on.
"The weekend before, we had an amazing weekend," Vaca said, referring to the weekend Kittle's sponsored the state Duck Calling Championship.
He said they were expecting more business this weekend, but "our locals were out of town."
Travelers in and out of town bode well for area gas stations.
"We were real busy on Friday," said Kerri English, who works at Orv's Country Store & Deli at the Shell station on Highway 20 in Williams.
She said it was difficult to compare to other weekends because "we're always busy."
But "the bathrooms were packed," she said.