Independence Day Brings Some Business To The Coast

The Fourth of July brought thousands of families to South Mississippi's shoreline, and its many attractions. Linda Timmer and her husband came from Dallas to enjoy the Coast.

"I like the beach, and he likes the casinos," she said. "So we came here"

Threatening skies put a damper on the beach adventure. And beach vendors said soggy sand washed away the Independence Day business explosion they had anticipated.

"Because of the weather, it has just been pretty bad," beach vendor Jory Trosclair said.

Not only did the tourism industry have to deal with the rainy weather, but it also had to overcome the calendar. This year, the 4th of July fell on a Wednesday.

Louis Skrmetta runs the Ship Island Excursion boat. "I don't think it helped," he said, referring to the midweek holiday. "I was anticipating better business, but our numbers are down pretty good this week." Next door, Marine Life had a similar story to tell. "I think we're holding our own. But not as expected."

Visitors to Beauvoir expected smaller Fourth of July crowds. What they found was a steady stream of people wandering the grounds. "I'm surprised at the number of people here," Mrs. Timmer said, "considering the fourth is in the middle of the week."

Industry leaders believe the midweek holiday made it difficult for families to take a Fourth of July vacation.

It will take several weeks for tourism leaders to add up their receipts and determine just how much of an impact a Wednesday Fourth of July had on the coast.