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Memorial weekend is just a week away, and it's considered the "season opener" for summer. But with the recession, will people be traveling?
According to AAA, the number of people in the Mountain West region expected to travel next weekend is down 1 percent from last year. But still, AAA expects 2.7 million people to hit the road and travel over 50 miles during the Memorial Day weekend.
"There are signs that the economy is starting to turn around, which might influence people to travel who otherwise may not have planned a trip," said AAA Utah spokeswoman Rolayne Fairclough. "But economically things don't appear to have turned around enough to drive more people to travel, leading to another major holiday weekend in the Utah area where we are seeing a slight decline in overall travelers."
The number of people in Utah and other Mountain West states who are expected to travel by air for the holiday is down 7.5 percent compared to last year, despite the fact that airline tickets are expected to decrease 4 percent from last year.
State parks numbers are dropping too. Deenna Loyola, with the Utah State Parks, says, "We're looking busy, about the same as last year, but just down a little bit. I think the wet spring is keeping people away, but it's looking busy."
All campsites in Southern and Central Utah are booked, but there are spaces available at sites in Northern Utah.
And for anyone going out: a word of caution about wearing a life vest and helmets. Loyola said, "We had four drowning in Lake Powell this season. We've had a number of fatalities on ATVs as well."