FOLSOM LAKE (CBS13) — The drought isn’t just draining Folsom Lake, it’s also draining businesses around it that are dependent on a long, busy season on the water.

From boat and equipment rentals to food and drink sales, many businesses are taking a hit, and some are wondering if a wet rainy season could save their business.

Chris McIntyre is closing up shop at the Snack Shack when she should be cranking out snow cones for parched kids looking to cool down on a hot summer day.

“It’s kinda depressing to come out here and see what’s going on,” she said.

The drought has taken a toll on lake levels and her business. In a good year, the water is close. But now, swimmers and kayakers are forced to hike with their rentals in the heat.

“You have to carry them all the way down to the water and when the water is right here, of course, we just set up our rentals right there and they just have to carry them a few feet,” she said.

In a normal summer, business would be booming, but it’s hard to find a spot on the beach that now looks more like a desert.

“Twenty-thousand-plus [dollars] in July, this year we just barely went over $2,000 for the whole month, so a very big difference,” McIntyre said.

Dustin Conner says he’s seen sales slump at his Granite Bay boat shop too.

“It’s definitely going to be a hard year. We’ll see what happens,” he said.

Fewer part-time boaters are stopping by his place for accessories.

“You sell at least 15 or 20 of these a year,” he said holding an inflatable boat-towed disk. “This is maybe the fifth one we’ve actually sold.”

Both McIntyre and Conner are at the mercy of the weather, wondering if a rainy year could save them—or a dry year could doom them.


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