Coast business says threat of Alberto impacted volume of customers

Coast business says threat of Alberto impacted volume of customers
Guests enjoyed the sun and water on Memorial Day. (Photo source: WLOX News)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Earlier last week many people didn't think spending Memorial Day outside would be possible thanks to the threat of Subtropical storm Alberto. Though the storm didn't hamper their fun, the threat was enough to hurt business at Gulf Islands Waterpark.

Although there were dozens of people at the park soaking up the sun Monday, the numbers were nowhere near what they are used to seeing during the Memorial Holiday weekend.

"Over a typical Memorial Day weekend, it goes four days, Friday through Monday you're really looking at a good crowd coming here. You're seeing restaurants full, hotels full, traffic just up and down the coast. It is busy and we're dealing with all the opposite of that," said Gulf Islands Water Park General Manager Mark Moore.

Moore believes the fear of Subtropical Storm Alberto is the reason the number of guests over the four day weekend were so low.

"Most of what's here today is gonna be locals and they're having a blast and they are people who live within 30 or 40 minutes away, but we really lost all of our tourism this weekend," said Moore.

On the bright side, the people who are here were having a great time. Moore said the wait time for the slides was less than 10 minutes.

"My mom got here first this morning and was calling excited because it wasn't overly crowded and so we were able to get our chairs and the kids were able to play," said Rachel Moran.

"I live in Ocean Springs and I just wanted something fun to do. And I just kept seeing advertisements for the water park and I decided that's what we're going to do," said Kristen Stebbings.

Amity Gipson said she decided to come to the waterpark after canceling plans to go out of town.

"We were going to go to Gulf Shores for the day and we just weren't sure about the weather and if we should go or not," said Gipson.

Moore said several large groups planned on coming Saturday, but they canceled. That's something he said was probably due to the threat of Alberto.

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