Freeze, drought take bite out of fall tourism
INDIANAPOLIS — Devastating spring freezes and a historic drought have stripped some charm from rustic fall destinations, leaving some corn too short to create mazes, orchards virtually devoid of apples and fall colors muted.
Extreme weather has forced agritourism ventures in the heart of the country to scramble to hold onto their share of an industry that generates hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Pat Schaefers, who runs Schaefers Corn Maze near Lollie, Ark., hopes visitors to the farm's two mazes won't mind that the corn is just 6 to 8 feet this fall — up to 4 feet shorter than the wall of corn families and school groups normally pay to get lost and turned-around in.
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