Atlantic Beach business owners prepare for crowded Memorial Day weekend

Crystal Coast

ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) — Many people are getting a head start on Memorial Day weekend and are already at the beach.

Atlantic Beach business owners said they’ve been slammed all week. They’re hopeful that will continue for the entire summer.

“It definitely sets the bar high, but we’re expecting a big summer,” said Mark Talbot, a bartender at Crystal Coast Brewing Company. “The weather has been great so far, and everybody is ready to get out to the beach and just relax after a tough year.”

Memorial Day weekend in Atlantic Beach kicked off a little earlier than normal this year.

“We’ve already seen a lot of people come in Thursday,” said Talbot. “Already see a lot on the roads today.”

Taylor Thomas owns the Shark Shack. She’s also seen crowds bigger than normal.

“Usually, we don’t see this until about Saturday,” said Thomas. “But we’ve been seeing it since Wednesday.”

Thomas said this weekend is always the biggest of the year for her restaurant.

“We are expecting to be slammed, which is what we prepare for all season,” she said. “In comparison to Fourth of July, this probably tops even Fourth of July.”

Travelers said working from home allows them to head to the beach earlier in the week this year. One couple 9 On Your Side spoke with traveled from Washington D.C. Friday morning.

“We’ve seen a good amount of people out,” said Pat Thompson. “We beat traffic, which was nice. I think people are probably going to see a little bit of that later today.”

Many people said they missed out on vacations last year, so they’re making up for lost time this year. Business owners are hopeful this will be their best season yet.

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