Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

October 10, 2012

Early spring tourism rush cooled during heat of summer

SHIPSHEWANA — A major portion of the summer revenue for LaGrange County comes from tourism. According to a marketing survey for 2011, by Certec Inc., shopping, lodging, food and beverage sales accounted for four out of every five dollars spent in LaGrange County.

The town of Shipshewana is an excellent measure of the success or failure of the tourist season.

Rene Hostetler is the marketing director for the Trading Place of America conglomerate. The company’s operation includes the popular Shipshewana Flea Market, restaurants, auction house, camping, lodging and convention facilities.

“This past summer was somewhat schizophrenic, presenting us with highs and lows on a weekly and sometimes daily basis,” Hostetler said. “The prelude of the mild winter and early spring left us with the hope of a promising flea market season. The crowd levels built steadily throughout May propelling us into a busy and prosperous June.”

But the unusually warm temperatures in July impacted the visitor-based businesses according to Hostetler. “We couldn’t have predicted what was to come in July. As the heat index rose, our numbers declined. The July Fourth holiday, normally one of our best weeks, turned into one of our worst. Our air-conditioned facilities did well. The Farmstead Inn, The Antiques Gallery and the Auction Restaurant all saw an increase in sales and volume. The Flea Market was at capacity with 900 plus vendors through August. Most of them expressed optimism concerning their level of sales during the summer overall in spite of the unusual heat wave.”

Up and down

Alvin Miller owns the Davis Mercantile a retail building in the center of Shipshewana’s shopping district. “Like everyone else, Miller explained. “We’ve had our ups and downs this past summer, but it was a good season. We feel good about the future. All of our retail spaces are filled and the businesses say they are doing well. We Shipshewana businesses put our resources together through the SRMA to market this area to the visitor. Besides the stores and the flea market, we have the water park and the theater. The visitor has a choice. There is something for everyone.”

Running the Convention and Visitors Bureau visitor information office near downtown Shipshewana, Beth Thornberg has her eye on the visitor traffic. “Our visitor center has seen significant increases in phone calls and walk-ins this year. We have expanded our hours in order to better serve our visitors.”

Thornberg said she is aware of new businesses that are planning to open in Shipshewana. She said the visitor traffic has increased for the theater and entertainment venues now offered in Shipshewana.

The LaGrange County Chamber reports its membership has increased. Director Beth Sherman had a long list. “The RV industry is expanding in Topeka. Cruiser’s Howe facility expanded to LaGrange. Also I believe Grumman Olson from Sturgis expanded its operations to LaGrange. There is Linking Michiana, owned by Maria Miller. It is a nonprofit organization to “link” people to jobs. Reason 4 Hope is a nonprofit working on bringing aid, faith and hope to those less fortunate in the community.”

The new businesses reflect the entrepreneurial blossoming in tough economic times. Sherman continued with Marlene’s Kuntry Kitchen, a new banquet facility started by two Amish women in a private home. Wingards Custom Plastics is Amish owned. They make signs they say last a “lifetime.” Silver Star Leather is another Amish owned business making purses and belts. Serenity Salon is a full-service beauty salon. Copper Top is a new restaurant. Crimson Studios is a freelance outfit doing architectural and CAD drawings.

Older visitors

“We track the visitor industry very closely,” said Gary Zehr, owner of Simple Sounds Music Store in Shipshewana. He is also the director of the Shipshewana Retail Merchants.  “All of our membership dollars go to marketing. We are experiencing a solid growth, especially if you compare it to 2006 or 2007. Our visitor numbers are up according to the major players here in town. Our area attracts the older demographic. Although everyone is feeling a pinch, the older visitors are much more stable.

“We have an average membership of 126 businesses; this year we added 29 new members and only four have left.”

Zehr said there aren’t many empty storefronts in Shipshewana.

 

1
Text Only
Business
  • Digital Life Review Amazon Phone-9 [Duplicate] Amazon Fire breaks ground for phones NEW YORK — What I find fascinating about Amazon’s Fire phone isn’t the gizmos such as the 3-D imagery or the camera scanner that helps you get more information about products.Rather, I like that Amazon is thinking a lot about how phones ought to work

    July 28, 2014 5 Photos

  • News and South Bend Tribune reach delivery agreement GOSHEN — The Goshen News announced today it has reached an agreement with the South Bend Tribune to have its newspaper carriers deliver the Goshen News in Elkhart, LaGrange and Kosciusko counties. According to Publisher Ron Smith, the agreement will

    July 28, 2014

  • BIZ GN140727 urban gypsy image Crafters open Urban Gypsy & Co in Goshen GOSHEN — A shop filled with colorful and fragrant items along East Lincoln Avenue has become part of the growing arts and artisan culture in the city.Urban Gypsy & Co. is at 111 E. Lincoln Ave.Missy Wrathell, Elkhart, and McKenzie Beiler and Kristin

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • PicPlayPost: App to create dynamic collages If you have a smartphone, you’ve likely seen and used various photo collage apps that allow you to add multiple photos that are then combined into one image collage. There are many to choose from and they all work about the same.PicPlayPost is differ

    July 27, 2014

  • Fast Food Workers Convention-3 [Duplicate] Fast food workers push wage hike CHICAGO — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the ef

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Industries reports improved quarter GOSHEN — Supreme Industries Inc. reported Thursday its second quarter sales and income were up. The company, which makes specialized commercial vehicles, reported its consolidated net sales from continuing operations grew to $71.6 million in the seco

    July 24, 2014

  • Earns General Motors [Duplicate] Recalls cost GM $1.5 billion DETROIT — Recall costs chopped $1.5 billion from General Motors' bottom line in the second quarter, cutting its net income by 85 percent. The automaker, which is in the midst of the worst recall crisis in its history, posted a net profit of $190 mil

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amazon Kindle Service [Duplicate] Amazon unlimited e-book service is limited NEW YORK — Amazon’s new “unlimited” e-book service lets you read 600,000 books. That sounds like more than you’ll ever read, but I found myself struggling to find the books I wanted. It turns out that the library of 600,000 is bit like a small bookst

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN140720 blue barn berry farm image 01 New berry farm also offers classes, treats SYRACUSE — A retirement hobby has grown into a new agriculture-based business for a local family.Don and Peggy Bucher and Shanda and Chris Sheeren are members of a farm family who operate Bucher Farms along N. 300 East. According to Shanda, her mothe

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN140720 mike gingerich column image Online marketing methods to grow sales Growing sales through selling online is a powerful way to reach more people and extend your market.To sell online means getting in front of the right people in the right places. You want much more of a laser focus than a scattershot approach. It also

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results