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Beach businesses make transition to fall

READ MORE: Beach businesses hoping for big weekend despite storm threat
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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- It's official. Summer ended late last night. Businesses that rely so much on tourism based on sun and surf now have to figure out how to survive in the fall.

In Carolina Beach Britt's Donuts is closed during the week. It will be open this weekend, but it's the last time they'll be open until the winter is over. It's the same story for many other businesses here on Carolina Beach, which this time of year looks like a ghost town.

"The places do have tasty food, but I'm just sorry they're not open," Stephen Wyant of Wilmington said.

Phyllis Johnson is vacationing on Carolina Beach from Raleigh. She says there's nothing to do.

"They ruined the beach, they did," Johnson said. "It makes me sick. Everything is closed. They have torn down several of the good restaurants that were on the boardwalk. They've closed all of the clubs up. And there's just not a lot to do down here anymore."

One restaurant that is still open five days a week is Blackhorn. Owner Jeff Cousler says football and good specials in the fall keep them in business.

"We try to run a lot of good drink specials. Thursday we're doing half price bar for the locals. They really love that. They come in, it brings in a good crowd," Cousler said. "We have some live music Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays."

To the north in Pender County, businesses are going through the same drag. Wings in Surf City thrives off tourism in the summer. Now the staff is pretty bored. After Labor Day, everything goes on sale.

"What we do is just make things buy one get one free, reduce things drastically and just hopefully move some merchandise before the winter starts," manager Derek Carter said. He said the trick is making the store look full in the fall when they don't get any new merchandise in.

Some restaurants and stores on Carolina Beach are still open, but have limited hours. The big fireworks shows that light up Thursday nights over Pleasure Island during the summer are also done for the year.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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CB is OPEN for business!!

I can't believe this is what passes for journalism these days! EVERY island restaurant remains open in the winter except for one, and the vast majority of other businesses maintain their hours. You talked to one visitor who was disappointed? Come in October for the Seafood Blues and Jazz Fest (Leon Russell is!), come for the fishing tournaments, the Island of Lights, etc.! The museum is open year round, as is the aquarium, and visitors will be coming to the beach all winter. Oh, and there are actually a fair number of people who LIVE here and patronize all those OPEN businesses on the island. Next time you want to do a story, trying walking more than five feet from your truck!

Pleasure Island

Wow... guess you guys don't spend much time on Pleasure Island in the "off season" because there is always plenty to do and more than enough places to eat. This weekend we have an awesome farmer's market going on on Saturday. On Sunday afternoon, we have another great event at the lake in Carolina Beach. There will be music, games, food and much more... all for free.... where else is that going on? Yes the hoards of tourist are gone... and in my opinion, now is the best time to enjoy the beach!

Pleasure Island

We have many things going on here on
Pleasure Island. Numerous great restaurats have not changed there hours. Some great shops are still open.

Disappointing...

Carolina Beach does not close for business after the Labor Day weekend. Our resturants are open (with the exception of Britt's Donuts which has always been seasonal). Your article implies that CB is a ghost town and little to do. That is not the case....the local residents enjoy the resturants, bars, beach and more without traffic jams, crowds of people and waiting in lines...As with every coastal area, the beach goes through seasons. You may not see as many vacationers now that the kids are back at school but now we are seeing alot more fishermen.

Carolina & Kure Beach are definitely open for business! Come down and see!

people are crazy

There is plenty to do at Carolina Beach after the "tourist season" Plenty of good food, Plenty of places to have a cold one, Festivals, farmer's market, fishin, etc. Blackhorn got a free plug. If you are unsure of the happenins just stop in at our local chamber of commerce. You won't be disappointed. But if you chose to stay away because you think there is nothing to do.....YOUR LOSS. That means more for the rest of us. And shame on WWAY for putting together such an article without further research