NEW HANOVER COUNTY--Fourth of July weekend was a little calmer this year if you asked Carolina Beach Lifeguard Will Pate. "Overall it's been a lot slower," Pate says. Wrightsville beach lifeguard Jeremy Owens agrees. "We had a pretty big Fourth of July Friday and then it dropped off Saturday and then today." Businessess saw fewer people too. Zach Lucas works and Vito's pizza in Wrightsville Beach. Lucas says, "Business has been pretty slow this year compared to last year it seems it's taking a lil' bit longer to pick up." Alana Vereline works for Wings in Carolina Beach she says "I don't know if it's gas prices or what but there's definitely a change from last year." AAA predicted high gas prices would keep a lot of folks off the road this Fourth of July weekend. AAA expected that only a million North Carolinans would travel the highways through Sunday. That's a 1.3% drop from last year. Since Memorial Day, gas is up 23 cents. The price at the pump didn't keep the O'Dell family from New York from vacationing at Carolina Beach. Jason O'Dell said he just couldn't resist. "Sounded like a wonderful trip and a wonderful vacation." he says. O'Dell spent $150.00 dollars in gas to get to Carolina Beach. Despite four dollar gas, he says he would do it again. "I have not had a vacation like this in a long time with my family. We'll be back."
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