Beaufort Businesses Prepare for Water Festival - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/10/03

Beaufort Businesses Prepare for Water Festival

Ready for ten days of fun and excitement? Beaufort's annual Water Festival starts this week, and downtown businesses are getting ready for the large crowds. From local hotels to the Downtown Marina, vacancies are filling up fast, bringing thousands of visitors to the area.

"We get people primarily from Charleston, Lake Murray area, Lexington, a few people from Savannah," said Rick Griffin, general manager of the Downtown Marina.

Many of those visitors began booking their reservations months in advance.

"I think my first request was in December last year, and then a couple came in in January, and they start rolling in February and March," recalled Griffin.

Now with just days before opening ceremonies, local businesses and eateries like Luthur's are gearing up for the crowds. Luthur's manager, Jessica Schmidt, said, "We pretty much prepare all year for it, just hoping to get everyone in."

And this big money-making festival time requires lots of extra workers.

"We overstaff, bringing in a lot of people that worked here previously," said Schmidt.

Although it's a lot of work for local businesses, many say it's also a good time.

"It is crazy, but it's a lot of fun," said Schmidt. 

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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