Folly Beach business owners: Sales down during holiday weekend

Slow Labor Day weekend on Folly

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - Folly Beach businesses were  hoping for a boost this holiday weekend, with extra visitors at the beach. They say the temporary alcohol ban that was put into effect in July, has caused a slump in sales.

"There were a lot of cops mainly on ATVs and dune buggies. They were out in full force today," Jordan Burr said. "The longest I saw someone with a cup was like 15 minutes. The officers were pretty quick to step up and shut it down."

On Labor Day police continued heavy enforcement of the 60-day ban on booze at Folly Beach. The ban went into effect after a Fourth of July fight that left several police officers injured.

Restaurants and bars say since the ban, they've felt a direct impact.

"Immediately after the ban the traffic, foot traffic, and car traffic, has just declined massively on Folly Beach, which results in a harm to our businesses," Drop In Bar and Deli owner Lewis Dodson said.

Shop owners up and down the main strip say they've experienced anywhere from a 20% to 40% drop in business.  Some hoped that this holiday weekend would help boost sales. Some shops even offered big sales to try to get people in their doors.

"Less people walking the street, less people are going to walk in the store. Less people walking in the store, less chance of selling something. It's been an off year," Mr. Jones Beach Store owner Paul Chrysostom said.

Despite the ban, some visitors still came out, and enjoyed a fun day in the sun, and, and surf.

"It was nice. There wasn't a lot of people, there definitely could have been more people, I feel if it wasn't for the alcohol ban. It was nice and enjoyable though," Burr said.

On Thursday, Folly Beach City Council will have a third reading of an ordinance to extend the booze ban until December. After that, a third reading to permanently ban alcohol on the beach is scheduled.

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