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Boaters Make Up For Lost Time Now That Wake Restrictions Have Been Lifted

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(credit: CBS) Jennifer Mayerle
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WAYZATA, Minn. (WCCO) – Businesses and boaters around one of Minnesota’s most popular lakes say it’s time to salvage summer.

All wake restrictions have now been lifted for Lake Minnetonka.

Boaters have been forced to slow down since early June when severe storms raised the lake to record levels.  They’re glad to be back to normal.

“It felt like summer had started finally,” boater Dave Pearce said.

Boaters are free to open up on Lake Minnetonka.

“A lot of boats, a lot of jet skis; so, a lot traffic. It feels like it’s Fourth of July every day we’re out here,” boater Peter Lecy said.

No more restrictions equal boater’s paradise.  The summer so far has been tough, with wake restrictions going into effect in early June.

“For us it’s been disappointing because it’s the first year we got the boat. So, brand new boat and we used it once before the no wake restriction went on,” Lecy said.

“You have a boat, you spend a lot of money keeping it in the winter and getting it ready for the summer, getting it all outfitted and cleaned, and you really want to go out,” Pearce said.

But waves made on high water could mean more damage to the shoreline, and the bottom line. Less traffic on the water meant less traffic for businesses.

“We’ve heard that Fletcher’s business is really down.  Maynard’s, all the other places, because they rely so much on boat traffic,” Pearce said.

But now people think things will turn around.

“I’m sure that they were struggling before when there wasn’t a wake,” Katie Holmes said. “Now it’s going to be booming.”

One restaurant that didn’t have to worry about wake woes is COV at the old Sunsets location. They just opened on Thursday and were busy right off the bat.

“Perfect opportunity, perfect timing,” Judy Regan said.

Boaters said they plan to spend the rest of the season making up for time lost.

“Hopefully we’ll get some sunshine and warmth all the way through October,” Pearce said.

A manager at Lord Fletcher’s said they hope to squeeze in three months of business into one month. And, they hope the uptick in business lasts. Instead worrying about the wake restrictions, pretty soon they’ll be competing with the State Fair.

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