How did COVID-19 affect 4th of July business in the Cape Fear?


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — With restrictions on gatherings, social distancing, and reduced capacity at stores and restaurants, how did COVID-19 affect 4th of July business in the Cape Fear?

Kim Hufham, President and CEO of Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau, says business was better than expected.

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“We’ve surveyed and I’ve heard back from probably a dozen or so properties, a good mix of Wilmington, beaches, rentals, that kind of thing,” Hufham said. “The majority of them were either the same as last year, and actually some of them were up over last year. And a couple of them did report they were down slightly as well.”

Hufham also says restaurants that are open did well over the weekend. She believes a hesitation among travelers to fly may have driven more traffic to our area.

“One of the good things about our destination is that we’re a big drive market, probably 80 percent or more of our business drives in anyway,” she said. “And then we felt like that with people being more hesitant to fly that we might see some visitors that would have flown somewhere else drove in as well.”

In Downtown Wilmington specifically, WDI President and CEO Ed Wolverton says business was down due to fireworks being canceled, but it will likely be several weeks before we have concrete numbers.