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Businesses in Carbon County prepare for busy summer season

The outdoor tourism season is expected to kick off soon, and that means outdoor businesses are getting ready for what's expected to be a busy summer season.

LEHIGHTON, Pa. — It was a quick safety lesson from the guides at Jim Thorpe River Adventures in Lehighton, then out onto the Lehigh River for this group of rafters. 

It's one of the business's first river trips this year.

The owner, Jerry McAward, says the warmer weather has many looking ahead to the summer, booking biking and boating adventures with the Lehighton Outdoor Center. 

"We are so busy with phone calls, inquiries, and bicycles because it s just that weather. The mild winter coupled with an early 80-degree April. it's magic," McAward said. 

Between hiring some seasonal staff and getting gear in, McAward's been getting ready for the summer season. 

"We ordered 40 more rafts which were taken out of boxes now, and getting them. We have a shop full of bikes," McAward said. "We sort of saw this coming, this demand, this vibe that people have that's just wildly outdoors ."

At Pocono Whitewater Rafting in Jim Thorpe, they're hosting a job fair this weekend, not only hiring for bus drivers but for 12 other positions across their 3 businesses.

"What we hire most of is paintball referees, river guides, bike mechanics, office staff, maintenance staff. You know truck crew, somebodies gotta move those rafts around that's an important one as well," said Andy Fogal, the Vice President of Pocono Whitewater Rafting. 

The outdoor company is looking to hire between 60-70 people across all three of its businesses; Pocono Whitewater, Pocono Biking, and Skirmish.

If the busy, early spring is any indication of what the summer is supposed to be like, both outdoor businesses say it's going to be a great season.

"A lot of online reservations coming as well. The paintball place that's been packed. Perfect weather for paintball as well, and then once we get a little bit of rain, the rivers going to start running here soon," Fogal said.

The Pocono Whitewater Rafting job fair is this Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the rafting center. 

For job opportunities, called the Lehighton Outdoor Center at (610) 377-1230.

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