Return of sun after Bonnie means return of business on Folly Beach

Return of tourists on Folly Beach.jpg

A lack of sun meant a lack of sun for businesses by the beach this weekend, but they're hoping to bounce back after a soggy and lackluster holiday.

On Monday, peeks of sunshine were rays of hope for business owners who rely on nice weather to make money. A steady flow of traffic on Memorial Day is helping Folly Beach's eceonomy rebound after a rainy start to their busiest time of year.

"The way to tell when people are coming in here is by that traffic line right there. When it's backed up that's when you know people are coming in," said Barry Varner of Island Shaved Ice.

Center Street on Folly is the center of business for the coastal community, and Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff to its busy tourist season.

"Put it this way. Last year was a lot better, you know, because of the sun. And last year it was real hot and sunny and all day. And this year we just had that tropical storm come in and messed us up," he said.

Varner says Tropical Storm Bonnie soured what was supposed to be brisk business on Sunday.

Now with better weather on the way, foot traffic is picking up again.

"The business has been steady," Varner said.

Restaurant owners say they're noticing more customers at their tables since the storm has passed. Other businesses are also seeing more people.

Tourist T-shirts are hot off the iron at Aqua Beach Shop. Managers say they were worried about bad weather keeping customers away.

"I was concerned that the people who lived nearby may be less likely to come and you know check out the store. But I expected the tourists who were already planning on having a visit to stay with their hotels and everything. So, business was okay though," said Autumn Onderko.

The increase in traffic is a welcome sign for Folly's economy, and the visitors who supports it.

"Everything is open. Everything is open. I'm loving it. All the restaurants. The stores. Everything is up and rolling," said Tony Grasso, who is visiting the area.

Some store owners say they're expecting another profitable season, depending on how the hurricane season cooperates.

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