NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ Days before its projected landfall in New England, Hurricane Irene was already delivering a blow to the region’s tourism industry.

Brides rescheduled weddings, hotels struggled with cancellations and major tourist attractions like Connecticut’s Mystic Seaport closed as the powerful storm churned north on a path projected to hit the Connecticut shoreline Sunday. The timing of the storm –on one of the last weekends of summer– could hardly have been worse for an industry already coping with high gas prices and a weak economy.

Even before the storm, AAA was predicting a drop in travel over the Labor Day weekend compared to last year. One expert said Irene would have a major impact on tourism.

Some hotels were gaining business, however, from utility crews preparing for outages.

    (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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