NOEL, Mo. — Thanks to abundant waterways and the natural beauty of southwest Missouri, tourism plays a major role in the economy. But this year — those in one particular industry are hoping to make up for lost time. The early spring was a tough one for Shady Beach Campground– losing business from an overabundance of rain.
Carson Adamson is hoping the coming weeks will be different.
“We’ve got floating equipment available, and camping available still, but we’re hoping that fills up and we have a big weekend,” said Carson Adamson, Co-Owner, Shady Beach Campground.
When the spring rains stopped, it did so for several weeks in a row, followed by the hottest July in recent memory and drought conditions. With the water so low, longer float trip options were eliminated in favor of shorter ones. But he’s keeping his finger crossed for what’s left of the float season.
“Coming up on Labor Day so we’re we going ’til the end of September for floating and it’s usually beautiful weather to camp and you’ve got nice warm days to float so it’s really optimal and people can get what they want without having to book it six months in advance,” he said.
It’s a picturesque trip, but waterways in and around the community of Noel also play a huge role in driving the local economy.
“It’s been a tougher year than many,” said Terry Lance, Noel Mayor.
With the canoe and campground industry this summer taking the hit, that has a ripple effect, so to speak, not just in Noel but much of McDonald County. Mayor Lance says it accounts for as much as three-quarters of the economy of Noel.
“This little town, it’s it’s almost like two different towns, during the season and then before or after the season,” said Mayor Lance.
So if you wanted to get out on the river this summer, but weather conditions prevented you from doing so, he says there’s no time like the present.