The summer is looking good for businesses in Raglan, if the trade of Labour Weekend is anything to judge by.
The town was buzzing with visitors over the holiday weekend, with the weather and tides turning on an ideal beach day on Saturday and the rain holding off until most visitors had left on Monday.
Zinnia manager Claire Anderson said a lot of people, especially Aucklanders, were buying gifts for Christmas, spending more than the average shopper by buying many small items.
“I’m picking that Christmas will be really good in Raglan because people are starting to know that there are good shops here,” Claire said.
Raglan Surf Emporium owner ‘JC’ said the weekend provided “the perfect storm for retail” in that it was first sunny, which took people to the beach, then it was windy, which brought them back into town for shopping.
“If that’s [Labour Weekend trade] a sign of things to come, then Raglan is in for a long, hot, busy summer,” JC said.
Visitors rented surfboards and bought a range of summer and sporting products including skateboards, surfboards, sunglasses and clothes. Many also took advantage of the emporium’s tent in Volcom Lane, which offered discounted winter products.
The Herbal Dispensary also had extra stalls outside its Wallis Street shop, and was “extremely happy” with the resulting trade.
Right Up My Alley, Piwiwiwi’s solar cycle and the dispensary plant stalls all attracted a lot of people.
Dispensary owner Bronwyn Lowe said Saturday was a huge day in the shop – “up there with Christmas” – and the atmosphere of town was fantastic.
Accommodation was mostly booked out in town, especially on Saturday when all motels and backpackers hostels were fully booked and only a few holiday houses were available, said Raglan I-Site manager ‘T’ Mahi.
Over Labour Weekend the information centre booked a lot of surf trips and Raglan Rock rockclimbing and caving trips, and referred many other visitors to local kayaking and stand up paddleboard businesses.
While most visitors were from New Zealand, there were also a lot of Americans and some Austalians in Raglan over the weekend, T said.
Raglan Kopua Holiday Park reported the busiest Labour Weekend in the 12 years that current owners, Rob and Mary Clark, had had the camping ground.
Rob said the camp was mostly full except for about 20 camp sites, with a lot families and larger groups of people staying. There was “a really nice vibe” as a result.
“We’ve tried to emphasise families so we’re thrilled that there’s more families these holidays,” he said.
Mary said it was the first in Raglan for many of their guests, who mostly loved the place and were keen to return for Christmas.
The camp reported no trouble with holidaymakers, as did the Raglan Police.
Constable Dean McMillan said visitors all seemed to be having a good time in the town over the long weekend.
Police set up a warrant and registration vehicle checkpoint at Te Uku over the weekend, which was mainly aimed at motorcycles after a high number of motorcycle fatalities in the district recently.
The Raglan Noticeboard website drew attention to parking problems in Raglan over Labour Weekend.
A parking warden was seen issuing parking infringement notices to some visitors on Saturday.
Apart from that, all businesses approached, including those involved with food, alcohol, entertainment and groceries, reported good trading over the weekend.