More people staying home for Labor Day this year

Monday, August 31, 2009

If you're planning on spending this Labor Day at home, you're not alone.

According to a recently released poll by North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, there will be 13.3 percent fewer people traveling on Labor Day weekend this year than last. In its poll, AAA predicts 39.1 million people will travel at least 50 miles or more from their home, down from 45.1 million Americans who traveled during the holiday weekend last year.

However, this Sept. 7 is expected to be the third-busiest Labor Day travel weekend of the decade.

Cape Girardeau travel agents said if you haven't booked airfare by now, do so right away. They added that most of their clients are electing to stay home or go to destinations closer to the area.

Carolyn Kempf of Elite Travel said that while Labor Day sales are down slightly, the most affordable bookings are doing strong business, such as Disney and cruises. Kempf said reservations to Destin, Fla., Gulf Shores, Ala., Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Branson, Mo., have increased, as have train bookings to Chicago and New Orleans.

Cynthia Schutt said cruises have been especially popular this year because "cruise lines have been sympathetic to the economy."

* Kostumb Shoppe begins its haunting season Labor Day: Halloween is right around the corner and that means stores will soon begin selling costumes for children of all ages. I'm sure you'll see Superman, Hannah Montana, Barack Obama and possibly Michael Jackson roaming the streets of Southeast Missouri around Oct. 31.

One place to find your Halloween "look" is the Kostomb Shoppe, which opens Labor Day. Because it's a seasonal business, most years the Halloween costume store has jumped from storefront to storefront in Cape Girardeau.

In its sixth season of operation, the Kostomb Shoppe's home this year will be at 21 S. Plaza Way in Independence Center, a shopping center at Plaza Way that has seen recent revitalization efforts.

Owner Holly Hunter Heckemeyer is excited about what lies ahead for her this Halloween season.

"Halloween falls on a Saturday this year and that means more adults dressing up and more parties," Heckemeyer said. "We are looking forward to a successful year."

* Auto spa opens: Cape Girardeau's newest car wash has opened at 1902 N. Kingshighway.

Since last fall, crews have worked on building Cape Auto Spa, an environmentally responsible car wash where water passes through a recovery system to be recycled. A conveyer belt transports the automobiles through a 130-foot tunnel for a three-minute wash.

"Time is always an issue for people, and this gets them through in a fast and efficient manner," said owner Boyce Church.

* Element 74 completes move: Element 74 has completed its move to 113 S. Silver Springs Road from 2845 Independence St. The new facility is 4,400 square feet, of which Element 74 occupies 2,300 square feet. President and CEO Chris Edmonds is hoping to fill the remaining space with one or multiple tenants.

* Pharmacy accredited: The American Board for Certification in Orthotics has accredited John's Pharmacy, 2001 Independence St. in Cape Girardeau, for three years on durable medical equipment, orthotics and pedorthics. The pharmacy earned the accreditation for achievements in areas of organizational management, patient care standards, quality assurance, supplier compliance and facility and safety management.

For more information about the pharmacy, call 334-1300.

* Ribbon cutting at Ray's: The Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting for Plaza by Ray's at 4 p.m. Tuesday. As first reported in the July 12 edition of the Southeast Missourian, Ray Ressel, owner of Ray's of Kelso in Kelso, Mo., is leasing space from Midamerica Hotels Corp. in the former Plaza Conference Center, 3253 William St.

* Air ambulance service recognized: Air Evac Lifestream's Missouri fleet now boasts a shield of honor decal from the Emergency Medical Services for Children. With bases in Perryville, Mo., and nine other towns, Air Evac Lifestream is now recognized for its preparedness when caring for pediatric patients.

The Missouri EMSC began in 2008 working with emergency medical service providers throughout the state such as Air Evac Lifestream to ensure they had the proper equipment and training to care for pediatric patients. As part of the program Air Evac Lifestream was required to have proper pediatric protocols and equipment.

The air ambulance service provides emergency health care and rapid medical transport to rural communities throughout the central United States, operating 87 air ambulance bases in 14 states. For information about Air Evac Lifeteam services, call 800-793-0010 or visit

Southeast Missourian business reporter Brian Blackwell may be reached at 388-3628 or<I>

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