Memorial Day boosts local tourism

Published 9:20 pm Monday, May 27, 2013

Many businesses look forward to Memorial Day Weekend as the jumpstart to summer and more tourism. This year, Beaufort County business owners were not disappointed.
“We were totally packed,” said Carolyn Haynes at Tranter’s Creek Resort. “It usually gets busy Memorial Day weekend then stays busy throughout the summer, especially when the weather’s warm.”
The weather cooperated, providing cool, sunny days throughout the long weekend.
Washington Waterfront Dock Attendant Kelly Mills said weather plays a big part in the number of boats at the docks and people enjoying the waterfront.
“It’s usually busy when the weather’s warm,” he said. “On a scale of one to 10, it’s been an 8 this weekend.”
As a comparison, Mills said Summer Fest is a 10.
With the increase in crowds, Mills has seen an increase in Coast Guard and Wildlife Game Warden vessel inspections.
“If they have a boat, be sure they have enough fire extinguishers. Coast Guard and the Wildlife warden have been checking it all day long,” he said Monday.
Inner Banks Outfitters Owner Liane Harsh said she had a great weekend. Kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals saw the greatest increase.
“Saturday was a banner day for us. What helped was we started the weekend with a Full Moon Paddle. That always brings out a lot of people,” she said.
Pam and Jimmy Daniels, owners of Cotton Patch Landing on Blounts Creek, saw a boom in business this weekend.
“It’s been very busy,” said Pam. “There’s been a lot of people on the water and enjoying life.”
The Chocowinity business opened four years ago. Last year, Cotton Patch added ethynol free gas to its list of supplies and services available.
Pam Daniels said being offering gas has really helped boost business.
“Word’s getting out that we’ve got gas on this side of the river,” Pam said. “The fish are biting and now the pleasure boaters are out.”
She did have one bit of advice for those with plans to enjoy some time on the water.
“Bring lots of sunscreen,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of sun burnt people this weekend.”