As a record-breaking heat wave is poised to enter the eastern United States, the chance for widespread hazardous weather is low in Chautauqua County, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
However, the county, along with all of Western New York, could see temperatures pushing toward the century mark today, and into the weekend.
Not that this would be anything different from what the county has been experiencing as of late, as recent temperatures have had residents running for air conditioning and cold drinks.
Children enjoyed the beach at Bemus Point on Thursday.
P-J photo by Remington Whitcomb
But, has the hot weather kept residents from doing what they love most, instead choosing to sit inside in air conditioned luxury?
The resounding answer, it seems, is no.
On Thursday in Bemus Point, the town was echoing with the sounds of dribbling basketballs, children splashing about in the lake and residents chattering as they walked the sidewalks.
"The weather has not hindered our business whatsoever," said Bebe Johnston, manager at the Lenhart Hotel. "We've had a full house the past two nights, today has been a little slow and then we're booked full to capacity over the weekend."
"We don't have telephones, television, or air conditioning and yet people still fill up the building," Johnston continued. "People just love Bemus Point."
The Lenhart Hotel is most famous for its front porch lined with rocking chairs, where people can sit down, read a book and talk with friends, all the while overlooking Chautauqua lake.
Despite the heat the past few days have brought, the porch has seen its fair share of bodies.
"Sitting on the porch, you get that nice breeze that naturally rolls in over the lake," said Johnston. "Even in the cocktail lounge, you can still feel the wind coming in. It just feels so nice."
Right down the road at the Italian Fisherman, owner Dan Dalpra shared much of the same sentiments.
"I think the heat has been actually beneficial to us," said Dalpra. "It's drawn a lot of people to the lake because it's cooler by the lake. I think it's reinforced our tourism business so far because of the weather. If anything, it's the weeds in the lake that might be dragging the tourism business down in the area."
Additionally, Dalpra believes the Italian Fisherman has seen an influx in business thanks to the lower-than-usual gas prices consumers are finding at the pumps recently.
"I've been getting more (calls) from the southtowns around Buffalo," said Dalpra. "Those one-day, one-gas-tank vacations are what we're talking about."
Down the road at Long Point State Park, lifeguard Max Lindquist believes that the heat has helped Long Point have one of its busiest years in recent memory.
"There's no secret it's been really hot here," said Lindquist. "I think it's bringing people in. It feels like it has been busier this year than it has in the past few years that I've been here."
Additionally, Lindquist said he has been seeing more out-of-state plates at the park, perhaps supporting Dalpra's statement that gas prices are encouraging more people to take one-day trips to places around the lake.
Finally, at the top of the lake in Mayville, the Chautauqua Belle is currently in its first week of everyday tours on the lake. Though Captain Ronald Strom said that the Belle isn't selling as many tours as it could be, he doesn't believe it should be attributed to the heat.
"We don't have the heat problems that they have in Detroit and Chicago right now," said Captain Strom. "The heat isn't a problem. I think we've had a couple of rough days with wind where maybe it's a little too windy to take (sailboats) out on the water, but people tend to show up regardless of the temperature. I think it's the economy and the wind that's keeping (the Chautauqua Belle) from being full, not the heat. ... Here at the top of the lake we have a pretty reliable breeze to help cool us off. If anything, there are few better places to beat the heat than out in the middle of the lake on the boat."