ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) — Labor Day weekend marks the end of the summer travel season, and rental companies along the Crystal Coast say it’s been one of the most prosperous ones in recent years.
“Years ago, we were super busy,” said Allison Bernauer, Bluewater Vacation Rentals property manager. “Then it was a little bit of a drop, and now we are starting to come back up.”
Bernauer said Bluewater Vacation Rentals has seen an increase in tourists compared to previous years.
“It’s been really busy,” said Bernauer. “We have been busy all summer. We are up about 6 percent overall, lots of traffic.”
Bernauer said the 6 percent makes a big difference in keeping rental companies afloat when summer tourist season passes.
“This is where our money comes from; Memorial to Labor Day is the biggest time,” said Bernauer.
Other rental companies along the Crystal Coast attest to similar traffic this season, saying their number of summer customers soar into the thousands.
“I feel like Atlantic Beach is getting busier and busier,” said Kelsey Buttery, Spectrum Rental Properties leasing coordinator. “We are growing as a community. There’s a lot more things going on in the area than what there used to be, so we are definitely bringing a lot more people in.”
Rental companies have already started preparing for next summer by going house to house and noting any updates and renovations needing to be done.
The companies said the town has done a good job in recent years in keeping tourism alive throughout the year, not just during the summer, by bringing people in for events like the seafood festival coming up in October.Still, they say the busiest and most profitable are the summer months.
Local businesses are also profiting from Labor Day weekend.
Atlantic Beach Surf Shop manager Chuch Morrow said this weekend has been great for their profits.
“It’s been a really good Labor Day weekend for us,” said Morrow. “The weather was bad Saturday. It rained pretty much all day and brought a lot of people in the store. (They) couldn’t do anything but go shopping, so it was a really good weekend for us. Good way to finish off the summer.”