ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) — As the long weekend winded down, businesses along the Crystal Coast were thankful for some extra foot traffic.
Between the sun, sand and waves, people in Atlantic Beach think things are almost back to normal after the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think a lot of folks had pandemic fatigue,” said Richard Porter, one of the owners of the Tackle Box Tavern.
Atlantic Beach was packed with people like Edward Hardy from Kinston, who saw members of his family during their reunion beach weekend for the first time in over a year.
“We’re just enjoying ourselves and each other,” said Hardy.
The morale boost wasn’t just for beachgoers. Businesses felt it too.
“The Tackle Box has had probably one of its best weekends in history, which is good for us,” said Porter. “We’ve got a whole year to make up.”
Porter said he saw people visiting from all across the country.
“People are ready to get out and travel not just in their local area, but across states,” said Porter.
Across the circle, at Davis Beachwear, the owner said things were steady in 2020.
“This year, so far, has been even greater, its surpassed it,” said Patricia Davis. “I can’t explain it at all.”
Atlantic Beach Mayor Trace Cooper knows this weekend is critical.
“Memorial Day is really the big weekend that kicks off the season, the four or five months that pay for the rest of the year for everyone,” Cooper said.
Even for locals, the tourists are a welcome sight once again.