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Soggy season for outdoor businesses

When more people discovered outdoor activities last summer, businesses that cater to those customers were hoping for good weather, not all this rain.

WAYNE COUNTY, Pa. — Another day, another rainstorm. The summer of 2021 has not had a lack of one thing, and that's rain. It's not good news for businesses hoping for another busy season of people spending time outdoors.

Dan Corrigan runs Northeast Wilderness Experience in Honesdale, giving kayak tours, and he says with so much rain, they continue to have to adjust where and when they give tours.

"We are a licensed outfitter on the Delaware River with the National Park Service, so we have certain height restrictions of water that we have to work within, and with the way the weather's been coming in, it has kept the river high, so we've had to modify our program," Corrigan said.

"From Memorial Day weekend where it was 40 and rainy to today where it just started downpouring in the middle of the first tour," said Bobby Taylor, general manager of Soarin' Eagle Rail Tours, which just opened this year.

Taylor was hoping to capitalize on outdoor adventurers seeking a fun summer activity. However, when you can't always guarantee the weather to cooperate, you must have a backup plan.

"When the thunderstorms come through, that's when we either refund, rebook, or we'll give you a gift card if you want to go later in the year," Taylor said.

With outdoor activities like kayaking and canoeing, you probably already know you might get wet, so a little bit of rain doesn't bother them that much. It's when the severe weather rolls in that they have to take precautions.

"We have lightning protocols. We have EMT and trained staff on each trip that we go out, so if we do get caught in inclement weather, we know how to handle it," Corrigan said.

"Everyone usually comes prepared with ponchos when it's looking a little cloudy, but as soon as it starts raining, they put on their gear, but they're still having fun," said Amanda Danelski with Soarin' Eagle Rail Tours.

Jennifer Johnson and her husband are vacationing in the Poconos, and they were out for a railbike ride despite the threat of rain.

"I did look at the weather forecast, but I thought, you know what? You got to get out there and do something, even if it's going to rain," Johnson said.

Businesses and outdoor adventure seekers are keeping their fingers crossed for sunnier days ahead.