Florence County, SC - By Kyle Grainger
FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Businesses along Interstate 95 in Florence County say they stayed busy throughout the Fourth of July holiday weekend, after Triple A predicted over 34 million Americans would travel.
Managers at the Thunderbird Motor Inn in Florence say they were busier this year during the holiday than they were last year. Bobby Hyman manages the restaurant inside the hotel and says Friday and Saturday were the busiest days of the weekend.
"We were off a little on Sunday because I think the fourth was on a Sunday and people were already where they were going Friday or Saturday traveling and they already had gotten to their destination," Hyman said. "We are holding our own like I say with the economy the way it is. But we just have customers that just keep coming back."
Hyman says business picked back up on Monday when travelers headed back home.
Lisa Stimpson and her husband spent the weekend in Myrtle Beach for a family reunion and say they tried to avoid traffic by traveling early in the morning.
But the Stimpson's say they still saw heavy traffic in spots.
"A lot of people are off today, a lot of people didn't observe the fourth as a holiday, their taking off today so it's about the same," Stimpson said. "We leave early in the morning about five or six o'clock so the traffic's not heavy."
Even though gas prices were running about ten cents higher than last year, Triple A did not expect the prices to be a factor for those wanting to travel. The motor club says travel agents are seeing a double digit increase in the number of people setting reservations, which is encouraging.
Many business say they hope this past holiday weekend will be an indication of what is to come for the rest of the summer.