Cape Fear Pride Pleasure Island: Booming Carolina Beach Boardwalk
From the beautiful sights of Carolina Beach, to its tastes, this year the boardwalk’s got a bit more to offer in terms of entertainment. The amusements and businesses are reaping the benefits.
“It has picked up since the rides got down here. Normally, it is slow in the off season if its not holidays, but now there’s a lot more people coming on holidays so there’s no breaks,” said Alex Barbee of Britt’s Donuts.
Britt’s has been a boardwalk staple for 70 years. Relative new comers are also seeing more foot traffic. Amy Neely bought Sandbarz about five months ago, banking on a business boom. “I did a lot of research prior to purchasing the business, and there’s a lot of growth, development and rejuvenation going on in the Carolina Beach area,” she said.
Part of that rejuvenation includes the amusements at the boardwalk, but it hasn’t come cheap. It cost the town about $20,000 just to run the power lines, and a $10,000 deposit for the electricity; an investment that may have a positive return.
“We’re doing great,” said Jody Belo of Fudge Boat. “The boardwalk seems to have a lot more people here this year. There’s a lot more businesses on the boardwalk and I think everyone is doing well.”
While more economic growth and development is ahead for Carolina Beach, on the horizon now is the Fourth of July weekend – one of the busiest, and most bankable, tourist weekends of the year. “Its always busy,” said Belo. “We never know what to expect we’re just here, we stock up on everything and hope that everyone comes and has a good time.”
Just how busy is it? The Marriott is booked, so is the Atlantic Towers hotel and the Golden Sands is 95 percent booked.
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