Skittish about the possibility the summer could bring a tourist bust, outdoor-related businesses of all sorts were offering deals, deals, deals at The Great Alaska Sportsman Show this week.
Halibut and salmon charters that have edged up over $150 in recent years were being discounted to under $100. Gear of all sorts was on sale for 30 to 50 percent off. Lodges were slashing prices.
The Big Eddy Resort of RW's Fishing on the Kenai River offered a "Stimulus Cabin Fever" special of 50 percent off lodging and salmon charters on a space-available basis for May and August.
There is a simple reason why.
"June has become the new May,'' said Bob Candopoulos, owner of Saltwater Safari, which operates a lodge and two party boats out of Seward. "I don't know what's going to happen to all of us.''
May and September have long made up the so-called "shoulder season" for fishing charters, sightseeing cruises and lodges built around an almost painfully short summer season. The shoulder months produced the gravy to pour over the meat-and-potato months of June, July and August.
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