Weekend a boost not boom
The money tree isn't in leaf yetJARED NICOLL
The majority of Picton businesses enjoyed a slight boost in sales during the long weekend while others felt it was well down on previous years.
Business owners yesterday said the Labour Day holiday weekend and good weather meant some cafe and food stores saw a slight boost in sales while Picton Water Taxis reported fewer visitors and boat traffic than expected.
Le Cafe owner Peter Schoni said business was similar to last year at his waterfront cafe in London Quay.
"We've been lucky with the weather - that always helps. The sun's been out and there're people strolling about."
A tree opposite the cafe on the foreshore, dubbed the "money tree", was an indicator of when cash came to Picton - because its leaves turned green as summer tourist season arrived.
"It's a bit late this year, they normally turn up about Labour Day," he said.
Fish and chip shop Kiwi Takeaways staff member Jono Lewis, whose parents own the Wellington St shop, said the weekend was busier than usual with a "steady flow" of customers but not as busy as last year's holiday weekend.
EcoWorld owner John Reuhman said the aquarium on the foreshore enjoyed similar numbers to last year.
The flow of customers fluctuated between days with a peak on Saturday, a lull on Sunday and another rise yesterday.
Picton Water Taxis driver Garry Spence said customer numbers were fewer than expected and the harbour and road traffic was not as busy as last year. "Normally it's hard to get a park near the marina but this year there are plenty," he said.
"The amount of boats on the water is a lot less than what you would expect for a long weekend.
"Easter was great and that had a bad [weather] forecast; this one's been good and it's quiet so I'm not sure what it is."
Regular customer numbers were also well down, he said.
Wellingtonians Hannah and Paul Jackson were relaxing on the Picton foreshore yesterday afternoon with their 22-month-old daughter, Jasmine.
Mrs Jackson said the family had been to a wedding in Blenheim and were passing through Picton to take a ferry home.
They enjoyed the weather for most of the day and taking their daughter on the model train on the Picton foreshore.
- The Marlborough Express