This week has special significance every year, more in some places than others. We all welcome summer with the longest day. For people in tourist towns in northern Wisconsin and Michigan the schools are out in the big cities and many welcome dollars are on the way to be spent, often somewhat carelessly, by vacationers.
As a lad, the geezer worked for two summers in the meat department of a National Tea Store, the biggest food market at the time in my north woods hometown. About 30 resorts of various sizes were in our trading area.
The store increased the staff in the middle of June to be ready for a big increase in business. The resort owners required large amounts of supplies for their kitchens, and many people owned summer homes in the area that needed provisions. Thousands of “summer people,” most from Chicago or Milwaukee metro areas, shopped in our store.
In mid-June, the store manager appeared in our department with revised price lists. Just about every item magically required a 10 percent increase almost on the day the first tourist appeared in town. At the end of August the manager again handed out revised price sheets. Would you believe the prices were lowered by about 10 per cent nearly across the board?
We took one slogan of the day seriously: “Keep Northern Wisconsin Green, Bring Money.”
My credit card company this week offered to double, from one to two percent, the usual cash-back bonus for all purchases made in London from now until August 31. Do you suppose those UK purveyors of chintzy souvenirs are going to hold their Olympic Games price increases to two percent?
It sounds to me like a big net loss for tourists. The card company ad features a handsome color photo of the Big Ben clock tower. We’ll stay home and be awed by the chimes via television.