MYRTLE BEACH, SC(WMBF) – All eyes are on Tropical Storm Andrea as the system moves toward Myrtle Beach. Andrea is expected to bring heavy rainfall, and some say that could impact tourism numbers.
Rick Sarver owns a restaurant close to the Boardwalk. He says he's been a Myrtle Beach business owner long enough to know how the summer crowds behave when the rain starts coming down.
"They'll go into the malls, the movie theaters, just inside activity," said Sarver. Like Sarver, several beachside businessowners say Andrea and the rainy weekend forecast will not interrupt travel plans.
"A lot of them already made reservations to be here,"added Sarver.
Visitors already in the Grand Strand say Andrea won't stop them from enjoying their vacation.
Kim and Brett Howe arrived at Myrtle Beach on Wednesday night with thoughts of spending their days here on the sand.
"We had some plans to spend some time on the beach now that the weather is warm, and that's probably not going to happen. So we're here shopping," said Brett Howe.
The Howes don't seem to be alone. According to shops at Coastal Grand Mall, this weekend is expected to be busy.
"People just start coming in a lot more than usual,"said Zach Sutton with Reeds Jewelry. He says heavy rain usually means more opportunities for business.
"More people to sell to, more people to talk to, and just kind of build our clientele that way," explained Sutton.
Meanwhile beachside businesses expect Andrea and a soggy weekend to slow foot traffic in the next few days, but don't think it will hurt their bottom line. Some restaurant owners like Sarver say they're ready to welcome the visitors who choose to brave the rain.
"They're going to get cabin fever and still venture out. So you'll see a lot of umbrellas," said Sarver.