Will tolls take a toll on tourism?

New London

Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough opens its 73rd season with its Great First Customer Race.

“Last year we got here as number three and this year we decided we’d be number one if we could,” said the winners who came from Long Island.

Karen and David who didn’t give their last name say proposed tolls in Connecticut wouldn’t stop them from coming to the Noank restaurant again.

“We would prefer not but we also understand roads need to be maintained,” they said.

Some travelers though may get a little steamed about having to pay tolls to travel the state.

“Tolls are fine. I just don’t feel that the tolls should be throughout the whole state,” said Rhonda Cassin of Bristol. “I think they should be the beginning from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, coming in from New York.”

Related: Repubs push no tolls transportation plan

“I hope that our lobster rolls are good enough…to get people here and they won’t be deterred if the tolls do go into effect,” said Chelsea Mears of Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough.

Some nearby Mystic merchants wonder if tolls would take a toll on tourism.        

“For me I would like to see the tolls be implemented for out of state,” said Deb Kollmeyer of Adore in Mystic.

“The tolls I don’t think they’re going to affect the New York City the long distance traveler comes in once in a while, but the amount it’s going to affect 60 percent of the tolls come in from our residents locally and that money’s going to stop people from going on staycations and just come out and visit. And I look forward to seeing my friends come to from Hartford, New Haven,” said Matt Beaudoin of Mystic Knotwork.

“I think they need to take a look at all of it,” added Kollmeyer. “They need to take a look at all of it and not deter any people from coming up and shopping local. We don’t want that.”

Kollmeyer and other Mystic merchants are preparing for Saturday’s Downtown Mystic Spring Stroll.

“I think it will be really fun occasion,” said Kollmeyer who is helping organize the event.

She says there will be a lot of entertainment and coins will be given for each purchase people make.

Each coin can then be traded in for a flower at the flower cart which will be set up outside Bank Square books.

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