HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - The town of Hilton Head Island has just wrapped up their first big holiday weekend since the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, leaders of the town are looking back and reflecting on the choices they made while they were preparing.
“Well, it was extremely busy this weekend,” Hilton Head Town Manager Steve Riley said. “Hilton Head Island saw one of its largest crowds that they’ve ever had for a holiday.”
As crowds flocked to Hilton Head for Memorial Day weekend, the town leaders hoped they had done enough.
“We had a lot more security guards. We had a doubling of the police presence. We had all the lifeguards out there. We had a lot of enforcement out there. And frankly, it wasn’t always enough.” “People had a great time but there were some signs of bad behavior.”
As the weekend wore on, issues they had tried to fix since last weekend became more prevalent. “We still filled up several of our parking lots in Coligny and we had some people that were not happy about that.” Some of the struggles this weekend were keeping up with trash, parking, and crowds.
“It was just disappointing. And also, the crowds are so large there’s not a lot they can do to control the crowds.”
They had hoped not everyone would go to the beach. “We had hoped that with other things being open, other attractions, other things to do we had hoped that as people got to the beach they would get it out of their system and calm down a little bit.”
But have realized that while coronavirus is an issue, people will want to hit the beaches. ”You know, right now we are focused on what we will do for this upcoming weekend.” And they have to adjust and prepare for a busy summer season.
The town says they do plan on using the lessons they learned this weekend when they start planning for Fourth of July next month.