MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Labor Day weekend is a big moneymaker for the Grand Strand, meaning all the tourists who spent time here over the long weekend put more money back in our pockets.
If you drive down Ocean Boulevard, you can see the hustle and bustle, which is always a good sign but WMBF News checked in with local hotels and businesses to see if the numbers add up.
Juggling several calls at a time is one sign of a successful weekend for the Hampton Inn and Suites. The Ocean Boulevard hotel was one of many, maxed out for the weekend; that's about 1,000 guests. The Myrtle Beach Marriott was no different with 405 rooms booked.
If you ask CCU Tourism experts, they'll tell you research shows reservations are up almost 15 percent, compared to last year.
Surfside Realty says bookings are up from last year. The company's 300 condos and nearly 200 houses are almost full.
"We had some that were booked in advance, most are last minute reservations and we did occupy most of our units," said Justin Spencer with Surfside Realty.
Last minute seems to be the trend. TripAdvisor even found Myrtle Beach saw 66 percent more last-minute Labor Day searches this year. Those online searches lead to bookings and many people showing up at more than just our hotels and beaches.
"Big increase over last year it was actually our second busiest week of the year so far so you could really see a lot of people out on the ocean a lot of people around town, overall real positive," said Assistant General Manager at Banditos Restaurant and Cantina, David Wilson.
As the warm weather sticks around in Myrtle Beach, the hope is, visitors will linger with it. Trip Advisor found fall travel is up 16 percent compared to last year, and local hotels are already seeing that growth.
For the Myrtle Beach Marriott, September holds strong, especially for weekend reservations. October looks promising with group and convention bookings. Those trends continue down the strand to Surfside Beach.
"Falls numbers are up. Most of our reservations we do are weekend rentals, from local folks throughout the state and the surrounding states," said Spencer. "We've also got a lot of monthly rentals, that's really what puts our numbers up."
That's because when September hits, you can rent a full month in a condo for about the same price as a week during the summer. That's one reason rentals are seeing a spike.
Hotels say November and December are where they're noticing bookings start to fall.