Smith Mountain Lake wraps up one of most successful summers yet

Labor Day marks end of busy season for businesses at lake

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and the busy season at Smith Mountain Lake.

"This summer's been incredible for us," Bridgewater Marina general manager Quincey Price said. "I would say this year has been our best year we've had in a really long time."

Boats at Bridgewater Marina have been booked solid since Memorial Day.

"We've got about 100 days to just absolutely go crazy and make as much money as we can," Price said.

Price said the money made between Memorial Day and Labor Day keeps the marina and other local businesses afloat during the off season.

"They come here to rent boats, then they rent a house, then they go eat there, then they go there to go to the bar and whatever, so it's a cyclical thing and we're all kind of shaking hands all the time," Price said.

Only recently did businesses start relying on a new group of people closer to home.

"We are seeing a lot more locals and people from Roanoke, people from Lynchburg coming in, so that part of our business is really growing and we're targeting that part of our business," Price said.

The hard work is paying off beyond peak season.

"I hate to see it close. A lot of things close this weekend and we don't want it to close up, so we'll be here until probably November," said Hoyt Parris, who's visiting from Roanoke.

The guests may be slowing down now, but the work isn't. The marina switches focus next week from renting boats to selling all of them to make room for a brand new fleet.

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