GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - Labor Day marks the book end to summer and that’s certainly not lost on tourists and retailers in Gulf Shores. The city’s prepared for big crowds on the beach and restaurants are eager to pad their bank accounts heading into the fall.
Calm Gulf waters and clear, sunny skies welcomed beachgoers in Gulf Shores Friday, August 30, 2013. The public beach still had plenty of room for chairs and umbrellas, but will soon change. Folks starting their holiday weekend early were showing up by noon to get a head start on the fun and the sun.
“It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful. It’s warm. It’s fabulous. We’re just excited to be here,” said Lera Pendergrass from Nashville.
“Bringing family down here and folks down here to eat and enjoy the food, all the restaurants and all the shops that we can enjoy, I mean there’s no reason not to come to gulf shores,” said law student, Andrew Odom from Prattville.
Lifeguards will continue to man their watch stands through October, but this weekend will likely be the last busy one. Lifeguards will be keeping a close eye on changing conditions and beach safety officials say there are some things to keep in mind to make sure your weekend is the best that it can be.
“If you can, swim near a lifeguard. Always swim with someone. Know where you’re going. Swim with a floatation device. Learn to swim. Never swim intoxicated or under the influence of anything,” advised Gulf Shores Beach Safety Director, Scott Smuthers.
Of course, Alabama’s beautiful beaches draw huge crowds for holiday weekends and that, in turn, means big money for local retailers.
“Across the board I think everybody is seeing better numbers, better response to the product that Gulf Shores has to offer and I think the big picture has benefitted the small elements that create it,” noted Hangout’s Brad Cohen.
Beach safety officials advised to always pay attention to the flag warning system for surf conditions. They also said it’s common for children to get lost. Before you settle in for the day at the beach, instruct your children to go straight to the nearest lifeguard if they get lost.
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