UPDATE: Crystal Coast Tourism Up This Holiday Weekend

The long holiday weekend brought many people to the beach, and the businesses we spoke to along the Crystal Coast say more people than last year were coming through their doors.

Seahawk Inn and Villas on Atlantic Beach says their business is doing very well this Memorial Day Weekend. They were sold out Friday, Saturday and Sunday. General Manager Kim Weirick says the past 5 months have been the best they've had in 20 years.

Down the road at Bert's Surf Shop, Owner Bertram Pearson says his business has also been doing well.

"People want to get out. They've been cooped up all winter with the bad weather, the cold weather, and they're really raring to get out and go to the beach and get a sun tan," said Pearson.

Pearson says although they've had a good flow of people this weekend, visitors generally only buy a couple of items.

Many people are spending time at the beach this Memorial Day weekend and that's good news for businesses along our coast.

According to Carol Lohr with the Crystal Coast Tourism Authority, tourism is up by 15 to 20 percent compared to this time last year.

Lohr says there has been an influx of visitors from all states surrounding North Carolina, as well as people who live here.

She says the increase in travel costs have actually helped with tourism on the coast because people are opting to go places that are closer to home.

Atlantic Beach in Carteret County was crowded with people Sunday afternoon. Beachgoer Bernita Demery says, “It cut down on gas for the holiday and we get to spend time with friends and family.”

Lohr tells us tourism is up overall for the season on the Crystal Coast by 6 percent.

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