Iowa Great Lakes kicks off summer season with successful Memoria - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Iowa Great Lakes kicks off summer season with successful Memorial Day weekend


ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa (KTIV) - Even though it's rained a bit this Memorial Day weekend, Iowa Great Lakes vacationers have the attitude that a little water never hurt anyone.

"People are still coming. The only thing is we just didn't have our outdoor pool open in time because the weather didn't permit us to get it ready," Thomas Wiley, General Manager of The Inn at Okoboji said.

Despite fforecastsfor a stormy three-day weekend, business and hotel owners at the Iowa Great Lakes say it was business as usual... and then some.

The Inn at Okoboji is used to the ups and downs of the Midwest weather, as they're the lake's longest-running resort, built back in the late 1800s.

Wiley said he and his staff were prepared for anything this weekend, and were pleasantly surprised.

"It's going great. The people look forward to coming to Okoboji for Memorial weekend, and we're glad to be open now for the season," Wiley said.

Visiting families said their visit to Okoboji was a nice break from a long, cold winter; a break they say they look forward to every year.

"It's not so far from home, but once you get here, it's just a whole changed atmosphere. The people, the relaxation of it, just everything here is focused toward enjoyment," Kevin Sandbulte, Sioux Center, IA said.

Though the last couple of weeks have been rainy and cold, families said it caused only one problem the whole time they were at the Iowa Great Lakes:

"The only thing was the water was too cold to go in, and that was a disappointment for the kids. But the temperature and the weather has been beautiful, actually," Sandbulte said.

A good omen that the coming summer season will be one to remember.

Hotel staffs weren't the only ones saying they were pleased with this weekend's turnout.

Restaurants lining the lake also reported a good amount of business.

The owner of Maxwell's Beach Cafe, located right next to Arnolds Park Amusement Park, said he was a little concerned about the weather leading up to Memorial Day.

However, he said that the 2014 summer kickoff was one for the record books.

"Probably one of the best ones that we've had in our entire career, and we've been around the lake now for about 29 years," Lewis Casson, Owner of Maxwell's Beach Cafe said. "We had delightful weather through today, there was virtually no rain, and there was a lot of pent up thrill, I think, for coming to the lake after such a hard and brutal winter."

Casson says he's looking forward to the rest of what's sure to be an excellent summer season.

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