Folly business outlook for Independence day

By Nikki

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) Can there be good business without booze? That's the million-dollar question on Folly Beach heading into the holiday weekend. Thursday marks one year since a massive brawl on Folly led to a ban on alcohol on the beach.

Just one day before the Fourth of July holiday and the streets of Folly Beach appeared to be booming with out-of-toners.

"It's 106 degrees in Austin right now, so we'd figure we'd come down here and have some beach and surf," said Daniel Keisling, who's visiting Folly Beach from Texas.

While the alcohol ban hasn't kept all tourists away, employees at some of the bars and restaurants paint a different picture of the view so far.

"Our sales are down 40 percent from last year," said Carrie Danker, a bartender at Snapper Jacks.

However, Danker says she's remaining optimistic about Independence Day.

"Tomorrow, hopefully we'll see a big change in the crowd," she said.

Manager Josh Scher of The Oyster Room says his business has also seen a 40 percent drop in sales since the alcohol ban went into effect.

"I'd say it's remarkably slower compared to last year. I don't think the weather has been cooperating with us, so that doesn't help," said Scher.

While Folly Beach's ban prevents alcohol on the beach, he says it's not driving beachgoers into the bars.

"They just stay away from Folly altogether because of the fact that they can't drink," said Scher.

But if you ask others who call the edge of the America home, they're perfectly fine with smaller crowds.

"I love it. I think it makes Folly Beach a more family oriented place to come. It's very pleasant. I enjoy it," said Nelson Hagy, a Folly Beach homeowner.

Earlier this week Chief Brown with Folly Beach Public Safety said officers are prepared for the Fourth of July holiday. He says they will have officers on the beach to enforce the city's alcohol ordinance.