Coastal Empire and Lowcountry communities prepare for Memorial Day

Coastal Empire and Lowcountry communities prepare for Memorial Day

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Hot weather and summer vacation time have many headed on trips this weekend.

While some of you may be heading out of town, downtown businesses say they’re already seeing more people coming in.

Downtown businesses say they're already booking up as people prepare to celebrate the unofficial start of summer in the hostess city.

At the Perry Lane Hotel, people are already relaxing on the roof ahead of this weekend’s holiday, but it’s only expected to get busier.

“It is booked solid on Friday and Saturday," said Tressa Wright, Director of Sales and Marketing. "We’ve got just a few rooms left to sell on Sunday, but we feel positive it’s going to happen before then.”

Based on some new national survey data, she should.

According to Priceline, Savannah is the number one emerging destination for Memorial Day travel with an 80% increase in hotel bookings this year compared to last.

“Savannah’s the perfect place for that," said Wright. "We’ve got history, culinary, drinks. They’re going to have a great time.”

Overall, TripAdvisor says about 36%of people plan to travel for memorial day weekend, up 6% from last year.

TripAdvisor says about 44% of people are actually planning to extend their Memorial Day holiday, coming home on Tuesday or later.

Meanwhile, temperatures are rising and a lot of people plan on cooling off at the beach.

​Even with the sea breeze, the risk of heat-related illness is very real, even on the beach. Add in near triple-digit temperatures with humidity and a hot grill, and cooking some burgers could lead to a trip to the hospital. A Fire and Life Safety Educator with Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue went over several things that beachgoers should keep in mind in extreme heat.

“Because of the kind of temperatures we’re looking at, it means water or maybe Gatorade. But alcohol and sodas tend to dehydrate you, and we don’t want that. It’s going to be rough enough this weekend,” said Cindy Seamon, the Fire and Life Safety Educator. “And the most important thing to do when you start seeing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, is get someone to the shade right away. Loosen any of their clothing, maybe a cool rag on their head. If it’s getting pretty intense you might want to think about calling 911, especially if someone’s elderly or not handling that heat well.”

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