East End summer hotspots face labor shortage

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RIVERHEAD -

Some East End business owners say they are worried for the upcoming summer season with a labor shortage impacting the area.

Many of the restaurants, motels and wineries have help wanted signs up as they look for summer help.

“The newspaper ads weren't that successful,” says Bryan Deluca, of the Hyatt Place East End. “Over a four-week period, I got two phone calls.”

No one is quite sure what the cause of the problem is. Some have attributed it to the explosion of the tourism industry on the East End in recent years, where the year-round population is small.

Some college students from Mattituck, all of whom have summer jobs, say some people their age don't want to work in an industry they've grown up around their whole lives.

“There's a lot of opportunity to make money out here with all the tourism. The problem is restaurants is where the money really is and a lot of people simply don't want that,” says Adam Hicks.

Another concern is that the increasing number of visitors is driving up the cost of rentals -- rentals that seasonal workers used to take.

The tourism industry is the fourth biggest employer in New York State.

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