Beaufort businesses benefit from July 4th 3-day weekend - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Beaufort businesses benefit from July 4th 3-day weekend

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BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

With the Fourth of July falling on a Friday this year, that means more time for families to vacation and more money for local businesses.

Hotels and shops in downtown Beaufort were busy all week with customers.

The streets were lined with cars full of people ready to relax and spend money for this year's Fourth of July three-day weekend.

It was the perfect weather to be outside.

Folks spent the day taking carriage tours, visiting the beach or simply walking the streets to sightsee. But before they did any of those things, they checked into places like the popular Rhett House Inn.

"We're the longest running AAA four Diamond inn in the state of South Carolina, we've had it for 25 years now and we're current for 2014," said Assistant Manager Josh Grimaldi.

The upscale bed and breakfast inn has 19 rooms which range between $200-$400.

Celebrities often stay in the Newcastle House which goes for $650 a night. But you won't be able to make a reservation at this bed and breakfast right now.

"We've been booked for a solid week straight now," added Grimaldi.

He estimates business has increased about 40 percent thanks in part to the city's recent recognition by Southern Living, Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine to name just a few.

"We're seeing more and more people raise their hands saying, ‘hey, you know what? I've been reading about Beaufort, now it's time to invest and go down there and take a look-see and enjoy the area," said Robb Wells, Tourism Division Executive for the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.

But tourists aren't just spending their dollars within the Beaufort area.

"The islands, Harbor Island and Fripp Island, both have seen a 100 percent occupancy for the rooms that they have, of course Hunting Island, America's #7 beach, has a complete capacity to the campground," said Wells.  

With so many hotels and inns fully booked, the three day weekend meant more time to dine and shop locally.

Lulu Burgess storeowner Nan Sutton said, "this week has been very busy, I don't know how this day will turn out on the 4th, but if it's anything like Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I'm hoping for another good day."

There were also crowds out this weekend in the town of Port Royal for its annual Fourth of July celebration, which included a performance by the Parris Island Marine Corps Band and fireworks.

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