GULF SHORES, Ala (WALA) -- This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and many people are planning to take advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend by hitting the beach.

More businesses also have been given the green light to reopen, so there will be a lot to do.

Baldwin County beaches could see upwards of 30% more people here this Memorial Day weekend than last year.

Gulf Shores Beach

People followed social distancing guidelines at Gulf Shores Beach on Friday.

“It’s the first time this year and we’re excited the beaches are open,” said Cindy Benson who lives in Gulf Shores.

The small-town big beach feel Gulf Shores prides itself on is going to temporarily change. The beaches are expected to draw thousands this Memorial Day weekend.

“The reports we got nearly everything is 100% occupancy so we are expecting large crowds this weekend,” said Melvin Shepard with Gulf Shores Beach Rescue. “We want people to come down here and enjoy themselves and have a great holiday, but we want them to be safe while they’re doing it.”

Just three miles off the sandy shoreline sits ‘The Track’. Most of their attractions have been closed for the last two months, but Saturday is a new day, they reopen with new safety measures that they hope will bring guests back.

“We’re going to be cleaning the rides after each ride, we’ll do a deep cleaning every two hours,” said Michelle Burdett with ‘The Track: Gulf Shores’.

Back on the sand, locals think more open attractions could mean booming business this weekend.

“It has already been like 4th of July so I agree there’s going to be record people down here, but that’s good we’ll make up for some of the loss,” Benson said.

Gulf Shores Beach Rescue says it is adding more lifeguards. In fact, on Saturday alone, there will be nearly 60% more than normal. They'll be watching the water and also making sure people are following social distancing guidelines.

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