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Long lines at drive-throughs, stoplights and grocery stores can mean only one thing: It’s summer at the beach.
The weather Memorial Day weekend appeared to be custom-ordered: no rain and low humidity.
That forecast and beautiful beaches in the South Brunswick Islands combined to lure crowds to the coast.
At Sloane Vacations in Ocean Isle Beach, Whitney Sauls said, “The island was very busy—lots of vacationers and lots of property owners here. The weather definitely brought a lot of people to the area. I’m very pleased to see so many people here on the beach.”
At Sunset Properties in Sunset Beach, David Haynes said, “We were about the same as last year. We had a good push the last four or five days before the weekend. The forecast of the weather turning helped in that regard. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty good start to the summer.”
At Brunswickland Realty in Holden Beach, Beth McCray said, “On Memorial Day weekend, we had 75 check in Saturday (for a week) and another 15 or 20 just for the weekend. We can definitely see the economy is picking up.
At Sunset Properties in Ocean Isle Beach, Al Ward said, “Our rentals went very well. We had several last-minute rentals. The beautiful weather really helped. It’s a wonderful start to the summer rental season.”
At Cooke Realty in Ocean Isle Beach, Tammy Cooke said, “We had a great weekend. We had beautiful weather, and rentals were on par with last year. We had 150 check-ins (including homeowners and guests). Our office was hopping. People were also inquiring about sales. It was extremely busy.”
At Alan Holden Vacations in Holden Beach, Dore Holden said, “It was busy, and we had a lot of last-minute bookings come in. People were waiting and saw that the weather was going to be nice and decided to come on down. The phones were ringing off the hook all week, so we were very pleased. Hopefully this will be a good indication of what’s to come. It’s good to see people and have activity again.”
Those of us who are permanent residents realize the reason we have so many great restaurants, retail stores and other businesses is because of the influx of tourists.
During the last decade, I’ve interviewed a lot of visitors on the beach. I asked all of them why they come here, and one man from Pennsylvania gave the best answer:
“You know that part of your mind that’s always worrying about something? When I come to the beach, that worrying part goes away.”
Sarah Sue Ingram, a member of the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame board of directors, is a sports correspondent for the Beacon.