CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Labor Day Weekend marks the unofficial end of summer and despite a pandemic, stay at home orders and a hurricane some coastal businesses are slammed as people flock to the beaches to celebrate the holiday.
“We’ve been slammed just about every day,” Carolina Beach Inn Co-Owner Tom Dinatale said. “80% full most every day and on the weekends we are definitely 100% full.”
Tom and his wife, Debbie, say they were expecting a slow year because of COVID-19, but they got just the opposite.
The Dinatales say more people are working and learning from home, so they come to the beach to get their work done and they expect the trend to continue into the off season.
“I think it’s going to be stronger all winter long because of the same thing,” Debbie Dinatale said. “People have been staying at home and they feel safe coming to the beach, getting fresh air and sunshine.”
The same rings true down the street at The Savannah Inn, Manager Brittany Francis says more families are coming during the week because children are learning virtually.
“They’re able to do their classes here so I think we’re going to continue to see a busier year even on into the winter time when Carolina Beach wouldn’t typically see that much tourism,” Francis said.
The Savannah Inn had just reopened in March after Hurricane Florence ripped through the area two years ago.
Less than a week after their grand opening, they shut down again because of coronavirus.
“I do believe we have been able to recoup losses,” Francis said. “It has been a very busy season. It’s been a great one, one that we haven’t seen in years.”
She says it’s typical of Carolina Beach locals and lovers to support small businesses when they need them most.