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Tourism Industry Takes A Hit On The Cape After Severe Storms

The Lobster Pot in Provincetown on Cape Cod is a popular summer tourist destination. The region was hit by severe weather that has impacted the hospitality industry in its peak summer season. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
The Lobster Pot in Provincetown on Cape Cod is a popular summer tourist destination. The region was hit by severe weather that has impacted the hospitality industry in its peak summer season. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Most businesses on Cape Cod affected by last week's two tornadoes reopened the following weekend, but the storms did disrupt tourism in its busiest season.

July is the peak of summer tourism for the region, where it's make or break time for the Cape's hospitality industry.

Wendy Northcross of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce says business owners are grateful power was restored before the weekend, but motels and inns have struggled.

"We lost mid-week business, which certainly isn't good, but we were able to recover weekend business" Northcross said. "People may have moved their reservation date — they didn't cancel reservations, but they changed them to later in the summer."

Some restaurants also took a hit when they were forced to reorder supplies because food spoiled when the power went out, Northcross said.

Northcross says the state is funding an aggressive marketing campaign to remind tourists that the Cape is still open for business.

On Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that he would send up to 500 National Guard troops to the Cape to assist with clean-up and recovery. Power has been restored to tens of thousands of homes and businesses that were impacted by the storms.

The effort to quantify lost business and damages is in its early stages. The state needs that information before it can request federal disaster assistance.

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Paul Connearney Weekend Managing Editor
Paul Connearney is the Weekend Managing Editor and Weekday Senior Writer who oversees WBUR's local news operations on weekends and contributes to WBUR's All Things Considered during the week.

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