GULF SHORES-ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — Beaches are open again, and just in time for National Tourism Week, a time when travel and tourism professionals across the country unite to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses, and personal well-being. Also, just in time for memorial day weekend coming up in just a couple of weeks. Herb Malone, president and CEO of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism tells WKRG News 5 that our beaches will be ready for the crowds.
Crowds were literally waiting for the moment when beaches opened back up last week. Even on the beach, we’re all still supposed to be practicing social distancing, and Malone says people are.
He said, “People were by all accounts were very well behaved on that. They enjoyed the fact that the next family crowd of seven or eight people was not right up close to them.”
And social distancing is being enforced.
“In both Orange Beach and Gulf Shores their police departments along with their beach ambassadors, if you will, on scooters running up and down the beach, keeping people aware of what they need to do. There’s signage at all access points to out on the beach,” said Malone.
He says occupancy rates are still down at the beach.
“Probably about 60-percent of what we did this same weekend last year,” Malone said.
But he believes things will start picking back up after changes to Alabama’s Safer at Home order were announced Friday. Included in the changes– restaurants and bars will be able to reopen Monday across the state.
And while you’re at the beach, you can also take advantage of shopping, as well as charter boat rides, dolphin cruises, golf courses, and nature trails at Gulf State Park.
Malone says he expects an even larger beach crowd this weekend, and he hopes as we continue forward momentum, more and more people will start going back to the beaches to have a good time– safely.