DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WKRG) — The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo brought more than 3,000 anglers and 75,000 spectators to Dauphin Island, according to Rodeo officials. That’s a big boost for local businesses halfway through the summer season.
“There was great weather as things turned out a lot of folks coming over here, I really saw a lot of families this year with small kids, I think that had to do a lot with the sharks being back,” said Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier.
At local gas station, Island Chevron, people working there said they had a better-than-average weekend with crowds of people who just wanted to get out despite gas prices being much higher than they were a year ago.
“It was very busy, it was very good, people were very polite nobody lost their temper, it was a really good week,” said Brenda Cockrell at Island Chevron.
The impact is pretty evident at the Gulf Breeze Motel. While they’re usually booked every weekend, the rates are higher for the rodeo and draw more people from outside the region. We saw license plates from as far away as Pennsylvania.
“It puts the town on the map being the world’s largest deep sea fishing rodeo,” said Gulf Breeze Motel owner Mike Tafra.
Not everyone sees a boost from the fishing rodeo, but some are describing this weekend as a little bit better than usual.
“Our weekend was really busy this year, I think there were fewer food vendors at the rodeo site, so when we opened Friday morning we had 50 people waiting at the door and we were turning people away because it was just so busy here,” said Islanders Restaurant owner Rick Seybold.