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Tourism needs August rebound of slumping season

Wisconsin tourist business people hope a busy August will help make up for a generally slow June and July.

Maria Belke, who owns a canoe and cottage rental business in Waupaca, said the July 4th weekend was gangbusters, but it's like everybody took their vacations then, because they don't have the money to travel so much.

The parent company of Fond du Lac's Mercury Marine says national powerboat sales are at their lowest in 40 years due to both high fuel prices and the shaky economy.

Heckel's Marinas in Eagle River, Lake DuBay, Madison and the company outlet stores filed for federal bankruptcy protection this week.

The Kohler-Andrae State Park north of Milwaukee has had to add campsites to accommodate visitors from the city who aren't driving as far this year. But the state-owned campgrounds combined report a 1 percent decline in reservations from last year.

Visitors to Peninsula State Park in Door County are down 10 percent.

Business in Bayfield is said to be recovering. The Chamber of Commerce reports longer stays than the normal one to two days, but visitors are more careful about the way they spend their ever-precious dollars.