Businesses in South Carolina prepare for Labor Day weekend

Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 10:00 PM EDT
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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, Sc. (WTOC) - Every summer, Labor Day is the last big beach weekend of the year for tourists on Hilton Head Island and with those crowds come dollars for local businesses.

“We’re forecasting it to be a pretty busy, pretty popping, weekend,” said Ben Schuman, director of operations for Fish Casual Coastal Seafood.

One, he says, will be on par with the past few months.

“Summer’s been great. We had a very very strong summer with a lot of folks coming through.”

Around the island, stats tell a somewhat similar story with a few differences from 2021.

“We saw the numbers down just slightly from last year in terms of the number of people coming, but we saw the rates they were paying go up considerably,” said Charlie Clark, the vice president of communications for the Bluffton Chamber of Commerce.

Fish says they’re staffed up and ready for the weekend, but feel the pressures of the offseason labor shortage glooming.

“We are coming up against that crunch where you start putting out all the feelers for anybody that’s local that wants to be able to work any type of hours.”

For now, there’s a few more days left of that peak season and Clark says Hilton Head’s service industry is up for one last huge wave of demand

“It’s a resort island. It’s what we love to do, it’s what we’re built to do and it’s what our tourism economy is built on.”

Back on the smaller scale at the restaurant, they’re just hoping to end the season as well as possible.

“Just trying to bring that last gasp of summer out with a bang.”

Hilton Head keeps a steady crowd year round, but the difference these businesses say is - now they can take a breathe.