How Cape Cod businesses are affected in the off season

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Ian Field, Contributing Writer

Cape cod businesses rely on tourism to purchase nearly all of the items they are selling to make it through the rest of the year. One business that especially relies on the tourists that come to visit Cape Cod in the summer is Blackbeard’s Bait and Tackle. This tackle shop in Eastham is small and sells mostly to tourists and summer local fishermen. They sell all the basics that you would need for fresh and saltwater fishing. In the summer months from may to mid September, they were open every day for ten hours. This was to make sure they could sell as much as they could in the few months that they were fully open.

This business shows how Cape Cod needs tourism since they are open long hours in the summer. In the fall and spring, their hours and days are cut depending on how many tourists are on the Cape and how many local fishermen are still fishing during this time. In the winter, this tackle store will try and stay open a few hours and a few days per week, although this is more for the convenience of the winter fisherman and small holiday sales rather than for any profit. This business is important to show how local businesses can struggle when tourism is not at its peak. Cape Cod’s economy relies heavily on tourism since there are few people that live year round and many homes are owned by wealthy families that can afford a second home and place to visit when the weather and ocean water is warm. The sunsets on Cape Cod and beaches are the main attraction for tourists as it is a great place to relax and have fun. 

The manager at Blackbeard’s Bait and Tackle is named Simeon and lives year round on Cape Cod. He enjoys helping people in this shop find exactly what they need to have the best experience on their vacation as possible. “Being a small local business, we see our clientele drop significantly in the winter time. Our business relies on our local customers to support us. A lot depends on weather, do we have ice for ice fishing on the ponds, or is there just skim ice on the surface, which prevents all fishing. Either way we always continue to forge ahead and try to serve the local community.” This quote from the manager shows how this business needs tourism to keep the doors open. Since the beach is the place to be for vacationers, a great activity to do is go fishing. People who saltwater fish mostly target striped bass and bluefish. Most will not keep bluefish to eat, however striped bass is commonly kept when caught since it is known as one if not the beast tasting fish you can catch from shore. Cod fish is known as the best tasting fish you can get on Cape Cod, although you normally will not catch it from shore and will most likely need to go on a charter to catch this species.

I work at Blackbeard’s Bait and Tackle and in the summer the shop is full of customers throughout the day. From May to August, there are lots of commercial fishermen and tourists that want to go fishing. After September, the amount of people in the tackle shop dramatically declines to where the owner starts to close a few days and lessen the hours to eight hours per day. After this there are only fewer and fewer people since it is cold and few people fish in the winter on cape cod. Many businesses are heavily impacted by the cold and desolate winters of Cape Cod and all of a sudden tourists come back and every shop is busy from morning to night again.