MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Visitors were out and about on the beach and on the boardwalk Wednesday, but some business owners recently said they didn't know what to expect for sales on July 4.
In recent weeks, some local businesses have experienced a decrease in sales. Still, others were pleasantly surprised that wasn't the case on Tuesday.
Michelle Kerscher, a manager at the Gay Dolphin, said sales were up 4 percent for the holiday compared to last year.
"We were pleasantly surprised to see that percentage," Kerscher said.
She added The Gay Dolphin is also on track to have an overall sales increase of 13 percent by the end of 2017.
"We attributed it to good weather and increased marketing efforts on our end," Kerscher said.
Robert Alston, the owner of Peaches Corner on Ocean Boulevard, also said sales were good during the holiday.
"It's been steady, it's been steady," he said. "We've been having good days and nights. We've been good, we've been holding out on them."
But that isn't the story at all businesses.
"As far of my years of experience on the boulevard and around this area, the amount of people down yesterday was off," said Victor Shamah, owner of The Bowery. "It's the time of year now that we all rely on for the tourist industry and the families to all come down here, so I really don't see the numbers compared to the previous years."
Although he isn't sure about exact numbers, Shamah said he estimates his business' sales are anywhere from 10 to 20 percent down from last year.
In the months leading up to June, Shamah's restaurant and bar actually saw a significant increase for the time of year. However, after about mid-June, he said sales started decreasing from their usual numbers.
Visitors on the boardwalk said, despite popular belief, the beaches were packed Tuesday and there seemed to be a lot of people in the area.
"Oh, it was very busy. You could barely even find a spot just to lay your towel down," said Jordan Leggett-Bean, who is visiting the area from out of state.
"Tourism here in Myrtle Beach is strong and we just invite everybody here to come see it for themselves," said Shamah.
Kerscher said July and August are usually the busiest months for tourists along the Grand Strand.