Charlotte, N.Y.—Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and in Rochester, it’s also the last day you can go swimming at the area beaches.
On Monday, people took advantage of the warm, dry weather by heading out to Lake Ontario Beach Park and Durand Eastman Beach. Unlike other hot days this summer, beach-goers also got to enjoy the water.
According to the Monroe County Health Department, Ontario Beach Park, or Charlotte Beach, was closed at least 32 days out of the 80 days the beach was open for swimming.
Durand Eastman Beach was closed for swimming 15 percent of the swimming season.
The closures were due to high levels of bacteria in the water. The bacteria is a result of decomposed algae.
Patrick Giuliano owns Pat’s Coffee Shop at Ontario Beach Park and says the beach closures have drastically affected his business.
“With the water closed this year, business has been down,” Guiliano says. “ This would be our quietest year in 15 years.”
Guiliano says that many people came to the beach seeking relief from the hotter than average weather this year, but the beach was closed on many of the hottest days this year.
“It gets really frustrating,” he says. “We had probably our nicest summer in a long time. It was sunny and nice, but no one could use the water. It was closed and the beach became a large sandbox. In these economic times, we need to have something that people can use for free that they don't have to pay for.”
Rochester resident Corinne Schaffer spent Labor Day at Charlotte Beach with friends. However, she says she rarely comes down to the beach because she knows it’s closed often.
“We have this beautiful beach here,” she says. “It's a landmark with the carousel and the beach house. Some days it's just not usable and that you can't count on it. It's difficult.”
Guiliano’s shop is also now closed until next summer. He is hoping for the same sort of weather Rochester has had this year, but by then, he hopes there is a solution to the lake’s algae problem.