Will Carolina Beach businesses reopen in time for start of season?
CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — As the beach towns start to get ready for the upcoming season, some businesses are nowhere near ready. Many beach front hotels and businesses in Carolina Beach rely on the boom they get from tourists.
The manager of one motel in Carolina Beach says they will be lucky if they can open at all this season.
“Sometimes it’s just lonely,” Brittany Francis said. “You’re here by yourself and it’s like a ghost town. You come out here every morning and you stare at the destruction, and it gets frustrating. It’s heartbreaking.”
It’s been an uphill battle for businesses in Carolina Beach, and it never seems to end.
“It’s a daily struggle,” Francis said. “The damage never ends until we can get rebuilt and until we can get sturdy roofs and railings and all the things that we need just to make this place safe.”
The Savannah Inn is Francis’ livelihood. Like most businesses in Carolina Beach, her beach front motel thrives during tourist season.
With damage lingering over the beach town, Francis is not sure if they will even see this season.
“It’s most likely not going to be open in time for the start of season, which is coming up here in March,” she said. “Hopefully it would be nice to have 50% of the hotel open and running, that way we can have some our guests come back and see us.”
Carolina Beach Mayor Joe Benson expects FEMA funds to start rolling in. He says this is will play a big role in getting the town back on track.
“On the 8th of March, myself, the town manager and the fire chief will meet to lay out the plans and agenda for a public forum on adjusting our own emergency operations plan itself,” Benson said.
Benson hopes the town is back up and running for this season.
But that hope for owners like Francis is dwindling.
“Every day we have to walk in and make a new game plan,” she said. “There’s nothing that goes the same every day or every week.”
Francis says they have not had any luck with insurance companies. The Savannah Inn is one of several businesses in town that is undergoing major construction right now.