AAA estimates a 60% increase in the number of people traveling this year compared to 2020.
SAN DIEGO — The Memorial Day crowds are starting to arrive down at our local beaches, and business owners are welcoming them with open arms.
At Pacific Beach Surf Shop along the boardwalk, owner Randy Strunk is gearing up for a busy Memorial Day weekend.
“It’s a great vibe that’s happening,” he said.
Strunk and his staff have come a long way this past year.
Like many businesses, he had to shut down for three months.
Now that more people are vaccinated, and things are slowly returning back to normal, he’s optimistic that won’t happen again.
“There’s a sense of excitement you know. I think the frustrations, the disillusionment that a lot of people experienced in the middle of the pandemic, at least now they can start to see like ok it’s gonna be a while, but I can dig out of it,” Strunk said.
Leading up to this weekend, Randy’s seen an uptick in people visiting from out of town.
“You know New York, Chicago, Arizona, Illinois,” Strunk said.
He expects that will continue through the summer, so much so, he’s hired extra help, including Aideen O’Leary, who said:
“It’s more lively, and I’m meeting more people. It’s really great.”
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pack our local beaches this weekend.
It’s a far cry from last year, when not only were the boardwalk and parking lots closed, but you couldn’t sit on the sand.
Now, none of those rules apply.
So for lifeguards and police, that means all hands are on deck.
They’ll be out keeping people safe in the water and enforcing the rules, listed on signs up and down the boardwalk.
“No alcohol on the beach, no glass, no smoking. If you’re gonna bring trash, take it with you when you leave or put it in a trash can. You’ll be looking at a citation if you’re in violation,” San Diego Police Captain Scott Wahl said.
Back at the Pacific Beach Surf Shop, Randy Strunk says he’s not only ready, but grateful.
“We’re excited to make it to this point and be here today,” he said.
WATCH: A look back at Memorial Day at Mission Beach in 1984