Lemister said he blames the decline in his business the new paid parking.
“Cause: Paid parking. Effect: Decreased business,” said Lemister. “My books say that and my customers say that.”
Lemister said that most of his customers are local people, and that he was told by a number of them that they refused to pay for parking on principal.
He also said that a weak economy, this year’s smaller induction ceremony and paid parking served to create a perfect storm that negatively impacted his business.
Since Labor Day, when paid parking stopped being in effect, Rudy’s has not seen a rebound in business, according to Lemister.
“It’s very hard to get back lost business,” he said.
Aside from December, he said that June, July and August are normally his best months.
“We need that summer business to carry us over January, February, March.”
As for next year, Lemister would like to see paid parking eliminated, but he said he doesn’t see the village government doing anything about it. To this end, Lemister is supporting political action.
“There is a group of people who are very interested in a change in government,” said Lemister. “I see no other solution. It’s a matter of economics for me.”
But not all Cooperstown businesses had a rough time this summer; some even had an increase in business.
“Actually really great,” said Tim Haney, owner of the Cooperstown Bat Company, when asked about his summer season. The company’s store is located on Main Street, while its factory is in Hartwick.
Haney attributed the company’s success to hard work and promotion, as well as their wholesale business and a large number of online orders this year.
Haney said that while they did less business on Hall of Fame weekend than normal, they’d prepared for it since January, when the Hall of Fame class for 2013 was announced.