News Local

Beach use down while tourism remains strong in Cobourg

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

The use of Victoria Beach is down an estimated 10% from last year, Cobourg's recreation and culture director Dean Hustwick said this week as beach grooming took place,but says other community events have seen steady or improved tourist attendance.

The use of Victoria Beach is down an estimated 10% from last year, Cobourg's recreation and culture director Dean Hustwick said this week as beach grooming took place,but says other community events have seen steady or improved tourist attendance.

COBOURG - 

This is the second in a series of tourism stories looking at high lake levels and heavy rains and their impact on lakefront communities in this area

COBOURG — The use of Victoria Beach is down an estimated 10% from last year, says Cobourg’s parks, recreation, culture and tourism director Dean Hustwick.

At the same time, some of the community’s main tourism events have had good- to increased-attendance over last year, Hustwick said in an interview about the impact of lake levels and rains on local tourism.

Among those events attracting thousands of people was the Aug. 5 Sandcastle Festival weekend, including the movies on the beach event, he said.

“It was packed with people” everywhere from the Downtown Sidewalk Sale to the waterfront, Hustwick continued.

The earlier Cobourg Waterfront Festival was also well attended, he said.

And while high water levels reduced the number of boat slips with power at the Cobourg Marina and transient boater numbers are down this year, the use of seasonal boat slips rented for the season are up, he said.

Despite the flooding at Victoria Beach (the lake is still up about 15 inches over normal),there were sufficient marina services to become an official salmon derby weigh-in station as Port Hope’s marina remains closed due to water levels, Hustwick also explained.

A local resident weighed in recently and won $10,000 for their fish, Hustwick noted.

Some volleyball tournaments were lost from Cobourg beach because of the high water level in Lake Ontario, but “we believe overall attendance at the major events were consistent with or greater than last year,” Hustwick added, noting the Highland Games numbers may have been down but the Busker Festival was the same day and also very successful

Use of Cobourg’s campground has been about the same as last year, he said.

There has been no definitive study of the tourism season yet and the consultant’s survey on waterfront planning for Cobourg is still in the analysis stage, he said. It’s release is expected Aug. 21.

vmacdonald@postmedia.com