Clovis ready for Labor Day

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks

Chris Irwin of Clovis cleans his pontoon boat Thursday in front of his home on Clovis' east side om preparation for the Labor Day weekend. Irwin said the trip is his last for the summer season.

Locals say they're spending Labor day weekend at home even though AAA's recent travel survey found that more Americans plan to hit the road for the holiday.

Portales housewife Carol Martin said she and her family may break from their traditional outing to Sumner Lake State Park and stay in town for Labor Day.

"We're not really sure about it yet, we usually go to the Fort Sumner lake but it has become more unpopular because of the lower water level," Martin said.

Arlene Dixon of Clovis said she and her husband will be the host family for this year's festivities.

"We're having company from out of town," Dixon said. Her guests will be coming to Clovis from several states, including Colorado.

According to AAA's survey, 33 million people plan to travel at least 50 miles or more this year, a 2.9 percent increase from last year. Of those travelers, 85 percent plan to drive to their destination.

Portales MainStreet manager Sandy Van Der Veen is traveling this weekend, but she said her holiday plans are unusual.

"I'm taking the Amtrak to California to pick up a 1976 GMC motor home from my grandfather," Van Der Veen said. "I'm excited."

Other locals, Gerald and Melody Lee of Elida, have traditional plans.

"We'll probably barbecue with the kids," Melody said. "There'll be too many people on the road."

Adah Dean of Clovis said she doesn't think she and her family will be going anywhere this weekend considering her daughter just had a baby. Dean is helping her daughter with the baby as her daughter transitions back to work.

"We'll probably just have a picnic here with family," Dean said.

For those staying in town, Clovis and Portales police officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints this weekend. Officials added that there will be an increase in patrol this weekend.

Local hotel managers are optimistic about business this weekend. According to AAA, hotel rooms will cost 4 to 6 percent more than last year.

Amy Wallis, assistant manager at the Holiday Inn Express in Portales, said they aren't sold out of rooms this weekend, but they expect walk-ins to fill up rooms.

"About half of our rooms are filled so far, but we always expect those numbers to change," Wallis said. "Occupancy definitely goes up, especially on a holiday weekend."

Wallis said their rates went up from $96 a room to $104 since last Labor Day.

Katherine Kingsley, general manager at the Hampton Inn in Clovis, said she hopes to sell out this weekend.

"We're half full; we'll get more walk-ins this weekend Friday and Saturday." Kingsley said.

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