Memorial Day weekend brings big business to the coast
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Memorial Day weekend could be giving insight as to what the coast could see in terms of traveler volume for the summer season. This means big business is potentially in route for local restaurants and shops near the coastal shoreline, and many owners are hoping to cash in.
“I mean, you can see the traffic behind me; it looks like Cruisin’ the Coast or something like that. It’s pretty wild,” says Austin Sumrall, White Pillars Restaurant & Lounge Owner.
Sumrall says his restaurant has been getting slammed all weekend. He believes the influx of visitors is a preview of July and August traffic.
“It’s definitely been a little bit busier than normal,” says Sumrall. “We’re probably looking at 500 covers over the whole weekend and about 150 or so today I would think.”
Right across the street coastal gift shop, Sharkheads received a high volume of customers, as well.
“We hope it stays this way,” J.J. Pierotich, Sharkheads Owner. “The tourists have been very happy, and everyone’s been getting along really well. We’re just trying to do a good job, so they’ll enjoy their vacations while they’re here.”
A local beach rental sales rep says her team lost track of the number of customers who stopped by the shop from Friday through Sunday.
“We’ve been pretty busy, so I hope that it stays constant with what’s going on,” Madison Foster, Life’s a Beach Rental Shop Sales Representative. “I’m hoping we’re a lot busier for the Fourth of July so from Memorial Day from how busy we were I feel like we’ll be pretty busy.”
While the Memorial holiday traffic has brought a huge boost to the coastal Mississippi economy, Pierotich expressed difficulty keeping up with the demand due to staffing shortages.
“Today, I’m three short. Every day, we try to overstaff; it’s a real nightmare in any kind of business in today’s world of staffing,” says Pierotich. “It was starting before then but when they were giving away all the free money, it really exaggerated it. Nobody’s really used to the fact that they’re going to have to go back to work yet.”
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