Smoke impacts on tourism in Ashland

This weekend was the first smoke weekend of the summer.

Posted: Jul 29, 2019 7:08 PM

ASHLAND, Ore-- Tourists and locals can all agree on one thing when it comes to the smoke. It's not as bad as last year. However, it was still not enjoyable for people to watch it roll in last Thursday. 

"Ahh not good. Probably not appropriate for television. Like a flash back to last year, because last year was real bad as we all know." said Joe Collins the General Manager at Paddington Station. 

"Better than last year and hopefully it won't last as long as last year." said Jenny Mackrell. She is a tourist in Ashland. "This feels like nothing to us, we wouldn't consider this a problem." said Irene Mazzini. She is also a tourist in Ashland. 

The tourists I spoke to today say it's not changing their plans or causing them any problems. "The air quality is not that bad at all. I can breath. I can barley smell any smoke." said Mackrell. 

"Actually so far it hasn't been impacting our sales." said Collins. He tells me sales this weekend were up by 25 percent. "I think part of it is people are in town. I know a lot of outdoor events got cancelled so I think a lot of people are coming in here to kind of get out of the smoke." 

Collins believes tourism might be like last year and still do ok the next week or two with the smoke. "I think people still had their plans so they were still coming up here." said Collins. 

To help tourists or locals with the smoke, Paddington is selling vog masks again this year. "We did sell out immediately on the first day last week." said Collins. More should be back on the shelf this Wednesday.

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