Fourth means busy beaches, highways

Published: Monday, July 1, 2013 at 19:12 PM.

It’s the week local realtors and business owners spend the year preparing for: Thousands of tourists will be flocking to the region to celebrate the nation’s Independence.

"This is the week other weeks are gauged by," said Donna Smith of Seashore Reality in Topsail Island.

According to AAA, nearly one million visitors will call the North Carolina coast home for the week of the Fourth, many of whom will spend their time taking in the region’s surf and the sun. Realtors are seeing few "vacant" signs in front of the rental properties they manage.

"We sold the last place early last week," said Brandon Ward, owner of Ward Realty in Surf City. "Things are looking good for the week."

Ward said this influx of tourists comes after a rough, cold spring and an Easter weekend falling in March when the beach is still out of sight — and mind — for most prospective travelers.

Ray Tillery, rental manager at Realty World in Atlantic Beach, experienced the same lull through the winter and spring. Tillery said that the summer, especially the week of the Fourth, is looking much more cheery.

"We are absolutely thrilled," Tillery said. "The Atlantic Beach area will have a lot to offer this week including baseball games and outdoor movies. It’s looking like the weather will even hold up, so there’s nothing keeping the folks from coming here."



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