MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Labor Day weekend is normally the last chance for Grand Strand businesses to bring a boost in profit before the end of summer. But instead, many restaurants and stores were forced to shut their doors in preparation for Hurricane Dorian.
As Dorian approached, concern grew for businesses relying on one last push as the doors on another summer season come to a close.
“Anytime there’s a storm it kind of takes the people away, they’re not sure whether they can come or not, they try to make other arrangements to places they know will be there,” said Michelle Kerscher, manager of Gay Dolphin.
With Dorian’s unpredictable path, stores were forced to focus on preparations, some closing up shop on Labor Day which is typically one of their busiest days of summer.
“We actually closed Monday afternoon so that our staff could get out of town,” said Kerscher.
Despite a slight dip in business, managers and staff said the storm’s impacts were minimal.
“For the most part everything was still the same, just the normal end-of-summer crowd that rolls in,” said Brianna Jackson, an employee at the Coffee House.
While not the high note restaurants and shops typically end on, for some, like the Gay Dolphin, the overall summer was one of the busiest in decades.
We’ve had an amazing year, our best year ever in 73 years and we had our busiest day ever in 73 years this summer in July," said Kerscher.
Just down the boardwalk, staff at the Coffee House said the tourism season fell short of expectations.
“I was prepared for a busy summer but from what I’ve been told it’s seems really slow, a lot slower. We’re still busy, steady here and there,” said Jackson.
Both still thankful Dorian didn’t cause any major losses or blows to their bottom lines. While Labor Day weekend is typically the end of the busy tourism season, Kerscher said in recent years the fall months have become a stronger time for business than in the past.