Given the number of out-of-state license plates on the road, I think it’s safe to say the winter visitors are back.

And with that comes a bit of relief for our year-round businesses, who can now mark another summer off the calendar, looking ahead to the more prosperous winter months.

It’s a bit of a relief to close out the summer, which isn’t always an easy proposition here.

For businesses, summer can be a lean time, when the flow of customers slows down. And for residents, it definitely means hot times as our temperatures soar.

This summer seemed to be a rough one for businesses, as several restaurants closed their doors permanently, unable or unwilling to go further.

Finally though, our temperatures have cooled off considerably, which is wonderful. We can head outdoors again to play in our parks, hike the mountain trails, or go off-roading. The temperature of the Colorado River has also dropped, which means it’s the perfect time for canoe or kayak trips.

As I’ve been out and about lately, I’ve noticed that restaurants are full, streets are busy, and stores are hopping. We caught a movie at the theater recently, and it was a packed house – all ages were in attendance, and the lines for concessions were overflowing.

I also recently drove past some of the RV parks in the Foothills and noticed the parks have sprung to life – it appears people are returning in droves.

This is all positive news for Yuma County. After all, if stores, shops and restaurants are busy, that’s a sign that people are willing to spend a little money right now. And that often is an indicator that economically, things are moving in a positive direction – and that’s good news for everyone.

Yuma summers can be tough, but winter is the reward. It’s time to embrace the terrific temperatures outside, welcome our winter friends, and celebrate why we love to live here.

To our year-round residents, thanks for sticking it out with us, despite the heat. And to our winter visitors, welcome back – we’re glad to see you!

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