WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- By all indications, it's been a good tourist season along the Cape Fear Coast. Beach businesses hope this last big weekend of summer will not be a wash out thanks to Earl and Fiona. Hotel managers and rental companies at Wrightsville Beach say they say they have had a number of calls asking what their cancellation policies are, but for the most part folks planning to visit this weekend have not cancelled their Labor Day reservations.
"We're hoping that Earl does slide right through and maybe hits us at night, and we get a little wet and we all wake up a little wet, but we start paddling as soon as the sun comes up," Chris Tryon, the owner of Hook, Line & Paddle, an outdoor rental company, said. "Hopefully, if the storm doesn't come through, it's usually our last big weekend that we have. It's kinda the last hoorah for the beach, then everyone is back to work, back to school."
Tryon along with many hotel managers in Wrightsville Beach are all in the same boat.
"Labor Day weekend is a very big weekend for anyone in this business," Harbor Inn Manager Alan Smith. "It's one of the largest weekends of the year."
Beach business owners depend on major holidays, especially Labor Day, for their last source of income for the summer. Smith said despite the scare of Hurricane Earl, people have not cancelled their reservations... yet.
"It does scare anyone who hears the word hurricane," Smith said. "It does scare them, and nobody wants to make the trip down here, the long trip down to get here, and then find out they have to leave the next day."
Many vacationers did not let the word hurricane keep them from coming to the beach Tuesday. Smith hopes that kind of attitude continues throughout Labor Day weekend.
"We've even dropped our cancellation policy from 72 hours to just a short notice for the people that might just want to come down and give it a shot anyway," Smith said.