Halloween weekend dunes attendance down
There was about a 45 percent drop in the number of people who played in the Imperial Sand Dunes during this past weekend as compared to other years, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) believes it may be another sign of an ailing economy.
"Visitation was certainly much lower than usual, and we don’t really have a definitive answer, but certainly one could think the economy is part of it, due to the distance people drive to get out there and the cost of gas, etc.," said Stephen Razo, the external affairs director for the California Desert District of the BLM.
"Halloween has kind of become a pre-Thanksgiv- ing, and in better economic times when Halloween fell on a Saturday, we would see over 100,000 people. Of course, this holiday was on a Saturday, but we only had 64,000 people."
Razo said Thanksgiving weekend, which has traditionally seen scores of off-roaders careening in their vehicles, may also have fewer people in attendance.
"I think the Thanksgiving weekend will validate our suspicions by the numbers to see exactly how much is being affected by what is happening in the economy, which may prevent families from coming to the dunes."
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.