Mother's Day spending down in the Central Valley

FRESNO, Calif. The phone is starting to ring at the Flower Basket. The National Retail Federation expects people to spend about $127 this Mother's Day which is about $3 more than last year.

Unfortunately this flower store is not seeing the foot traffic it used to. "I say the last year and this year we're significantly down and we're still very busy, very grateful for everything coming in but I don't see it. Normally, right now the phones would be ringing off the hook," owner Judy Gentile-Gaither said.

Business is also hurting at Karkazian Jewelers in Clovis. George Karkazian said he is offering some jewelry at 70 percent discounted prices but he is just not making the sales he used to.

"I think it's like last year but it's not like it used to be. Years ago we used to make lots of mother's rings, special mother's or family rings," Karkazian said.

Fresno State marketing Professor William Rice is not surprised to see these local businesses are not matching up to national predications.

"We're still coming out of the winter season and we have not come into the production season. Nothing's being produced yet. Our $3½ billion industry in Fresno County really hasn't kicked in yet," Rice said.

There is one place where sales appear to be booming, and the gates haven't even opened yet. Managers here at Island Waterpark say there has been so much interest they are opening the gates a month and a half early and there's a special for mothers too.

"And let all the mothers, the hard working mothers come in free on mother's day and have a place to go with the kids," said general manager Terry Mackey.

Despite cooler weather predictions this Sunday managers at the water park expect a good turn out.

"They're choosing to stay close to home. It's more economical for them and so they're choosing local activities as opposed to traveling for those activities," Mackey said.

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