Economic woes cause drop in number of Illinois boaters

Thousands of boaters are still active on Illinois waters, but their numbers have declined significantly over the past several years due to the struggling economy.
    
Data from the state Department of Natural Resources show that the number of mechanically-powered boats registered in Illinois has gone down by about 30 percent since 2009. There were about 277,620 registered mechanically-powered boats in 2009, compared with about 198,150 in 2015.
    
Boat shop owners tell the (LaSalle) News Tribune (http://bit.ly/28NyqVk ) that boating reached its peak before the recession, but when it hit, people were less willing to spend money on recreation.
    
Although the numbers are still down, some boaters say there’s a returning interest now that the economy is more stable.

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