MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Labor Day weekend signals the end of the summer tourist season, and many hotel owners in Myrtle Beach are hoping for one final weekend of big business before the winter months.
According to recent occupancy rates by Coastal Carolina University, tourism is up this summer in the Grand Strand.
Fred Smith of the Seahawk Motel says he has seen an increase in the number of people staying in rooms there this summer, but he's also trying to overcome the decline in visitors he saw in the spring.
"July was pretty good, and the first half of August was pretty good, but all summer, we've seen people stay shorter times, the rates are down dramatically and they'll put more people per room, if you're not careful," explained Smith
Smith also adds that it's hard to predict just how many people will be headed to the Myrtle Beach area this Labor Day, because fewer people are making reservations ahead of time.
Jane Perkins at the Hurl Rock Motel says she's seen that trend as well.
"They're price shopping, and they want to look at the rooms before they check in with their families," said Perkins.
Raymond Harter of the Anderson Ocean club says they've seen an increase in visitors all summer, and hopefully, that's a sign of good things to come.
"Most of the time, this is the final end of the summer, but it looks like it's shaping up pretty well for us all, and we feel the demand is pretty strong, and it's exceeding last year, which is a good sign," said Harter.