Valley Boaters Cutting Back

July 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Boaters say they're not seeing as many people share valley lakes these days but some that are going say they're compensating for high prices in other ways.Summer fun has never been more expensive. David George, Fresno, says "Yea, it's kind of hurting now."

Gassing up his boat for a day at Millerton Lake with friends cost George $120 today. He says it's enough to make him cast off future plans on the water. "I don't think we'll be going out every weekend now."

The owner of Valley Boat Emporium on West Shaw Avenue in Fresno is also treading unchartered water. After more than three decades in business boats are being liquidated and the shop may soon be closing.

Despite the high gas prices there was a steady stream of boaters at Millerton Lake Sunday that said they're unfazed by the gas prices.

Jim Fuqua said a few days at the lake will be his only summer indulgence this year. "I'm not doing extended vacations or anything, maybe a day trip or two but that's about it."

The jet ski rentals at Millerton haven't seen much action lately. The manager says instead of renting the water skimmers for an entire day some people are opting for one or two hour rentals. To help compensate he's switched all of his jet skis with ones that are more fuel efficient.

Even though David George may not be able to hit the lake as often as last summer he'll try to make this trip a memorable one. "This is the only summer fun we have so why not do it."
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