Local businesses anticipating big crowds for Labor Day

ISLE OF PALMS, SC (WCSC) - AAA estimates more than 27 million people will drive to their vacation destination for the Labor Day holiday, with 2.5 million expected to fly. Some popular east coast hot spots are scrambling to clean up after Hurricane Irene in anticipation.

Since Charleston was spared from most of the storm's wrath, local resorts and businesses are getting ready for a busier than usual Labor Day weekend.

"It's the end of the summer. It was really busy for all of us. Our guests really enjoyed it, but this is our real true going out party," Wild Dunes Resort Sales and Marketing Director Steve Migliara said.

At Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms, staff has been promoting several beach parties and events and offering specials for guests.

"We want to make sure with the current economy we make it affordable for folks to come here. The proximity to downtown Charleston is always a draw for folks as well and obviously another chance to hit the beach for summer. We have some great deals." Migliara said.

The holiday weekend will go from September First through Fifth. AAA Travel Services forecast a weak travel holiday because of the uncertain economy.

At Mount Pleasant Towne Center they say no matter what, shops plan for it to be busy with locals and tourists.

"For the tourists we do a shopping passport which we take to all the hotels and it gives them special deals to come out to individual stores, as well as register to win a $100 giftcard when they come over to the shopping center. Each individual store for the sidewalk sale will be doing something special as well," Mt. Pleasant Towne Center Marketing Manager Kristi Tolley said.

Back at Wild Dunes, the resort is hoping for a wave of tourists looking for a beach getaway.

"Fortunately for us after the storm passed us by our phones started ringing quite a bit because they had a great weather outlook for this coming week and it was a great opportunity for us to capture some additional guests coming to the area," Migliara said.

Wild Dunes says they still have plenty of availability for the Labor Day weekend even though reservations are up from last year.

Many popular destinations from North Carolina, up to the Jersey Shore, and into New England suffered serious damage from Hurricane Irene.

Other beach areas like the Isle of Palms and Kiawah Island County Parks are also planning for a busy end of the summer weekend. They'll have  extra lifeguards on hand.

For now the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Department says Folly Beach County Park will remain closed for the weekend.

Copyright WCSC 2011. All rights reserved.