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Memorial Day Weekend Beach Crowds Bring Business Boost On Isle of Palms

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 6:38 PM EDT
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ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Thousands flocked to beaches across the Lowcountry over Memorial Day weekend, a far cry from last year as the COVID-19 pandemic raged.

Isle of Palms Police Chief Kevin Cornett said 14,500 cars crossed the Isle of Palms Connector on Friday and nearly that many crossed on Saturday. Around 10,000 had crossed by 5 p.m. Sunday. The influx of visitors meant a boost for businesses like Port City Moped.

“Except the ghost town COVID year, this year’s been probably busier than ever. We’ve had a lot more tourists come down, we’ve been selling out almost every weekend,” employee Connor Geddings said.

It’s a significant change from last year, when most of their business came not from short-term tourists but the more long-term visitors who own property on the island.

This year has already started strong even before the unofficial beginning of beach season.

“Memorial Day weekend obviously we’ve seen a little bit more volume of people coming through but we’ve been busy nonstop,” Geddings said. “Ever since about like St. Patrick’s Day it’s been kind of all hands on deck.”

Among those flocking to the beach was Pastor James Dennis from Pine Grove AME church in Columbia.

He and some friends spent the day reminiscing about old times, which they hadn’t been able to do in over a year because of the pandemic.

Now with most restrictions lifted and more people being vaccinated daily, he’s glad to have a sense of normal.

“It’s been so wonderful just to be able to get out of the house, just to be able to get out of places that we’ve all been quarantined and not to be looking at a computer screen and to be on the beach enjoying the wind, enjoying the water,” he said.

His church has also been working hard to get people vaccinated, and he says the hard work is worth it so people can enjoy things like the beach again this year.

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