"How do you live here? It's so busy."
That's what a friend visiting Rotorua asked last weekend.
They were having a nice weekend away and their visit to town coincided with the school holidays.
Like seemingly every other person from Auckland, Hamilton or Tauranga, they'd chosen Rotorua as their weekend destination.
Hotels around Rotorua, Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty were booked out for two weeks and finding a place to eat dinner was a challenge.
I tried four different places last Friday before successfully booking a last-minute table.
According to Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bryce Heard, some of the upper-end hotels had up to 96 per cent occupancy and Hennessy's Irish Bar had to turn people away because it was fully booked.
The CBD and tourist destinations were pumping; the Bay of Plenty was the place to be.
But the school holidays are over. Town has quietened down again, the Redwoods are emptier, restaurants quieter and the "no" in the no vacancy signs is no longer lit up.
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All that is left are businesses hit hard by Covid-19. The two-week school holidays were a high point in their economic recovery but, just because they are over, it doesn't mean local businesses have stopped needing our help.
We've been told time and again the Government's wage subsidy has been a huge help to struggling businesses but it's due to end in September and that could mean more lost jobs.
it was revealed the subsidy had cost about $12.3 billion to June 26 and covered some 1.7 million employees.
Hundreds of people have already lost their jobs; supporting local businesses may save others.
So, although the school holidays may be over, the time to support local businesses is not.
This weekend, keep the momentum going. Go out for dinner or be a tourist in your own backyard or nearby city.
Me? I'll be hitting the slopes, or more likely drinking wine, in Queenstown.