Crystal Coast summer tourism season breaks records
BEAUFORT, N.C. (WITN) - Along with high temperatures this summer the cities of Carteret County experienced high volumes of visitors.
July 2021 holds the current record for occupancy tax collections at over $2,800,000. It also marks the 14th consecutive record month for that tax revenue.
The Labor Day weekend holiday typically signals an end to summertime and ushers in the cooler months of fall. But Beaufort Mayor Rett Newton feels optimistic about the Crystal Coast’s ability to draw crowds for months to come.
“We expect to have a busy fall season as well. I think we’ll still have a steady flow of visitors here. We just have this glorious coastal ecosystem,” says Mayor Newton. “It’s a great place that you can get out and socially distance yourself.”
Local business owners are happy to hear that.
After struggling to stay afloat with the shutdowns of the pandemic, an influx in business is much needed. Owner of The General Store on Front St., Sandra Bray, says that now she faces a bit of a different problem.
“We’re very thankful to be open and we’re thankful for the traffic,” says Bray. “Like everyone, we’ve had a challenge with our staff this summer. A bit short staffed but people have been very patient and we’re thankful for the employees that we do have.”
For visitors, the appeal of the coast is not lost, regardless of what the calendar reads.
“We’re hoping to see some horses out there, some wild horses. And pick up some shells, get some sun,” says Brent Furrer, a first-time visitor from Indianapolis, IN.
Those in Beaufort hope that as long as the sun is shining, they’ll continue to see impressive tourism rates.
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