Slow Holiday Weekend Along Gulf Coast

By: Terrell Brown
By: Terrell Brown

Beaches along the gulf coast are usually packed on the holiday weekend.

This year, things are a lot different.

The 4th of July usually brings tens of thousands of people to Pensacola beach.
Concerns over the oil spill may be the reason there is a fraction of the usual crowd.

Despite health warnings, Lorie Clifton didn't mind taking a dip.

"As long as the beach is clean?"
"We’ll be here"

As Clifton watches waves crash ashore, what she can't see is BP’s latest weapon to fight the disaster 40 miles off the coast. Testing is underway on "a whale," a giant-oil skimmer designed to process up to 21 million gallons of oily-water a day.

But so far, nothing BP and the coast guard have tried has stopped the oil.

"We would have lines of people in the back..."

Michael Pingone has seen the affect of the spill. Revenue at fish sandwich snack bar has dropped nearly 70%.

"I should be doing 35-thousand dollar weeks, we're going to be lucky if we a 15-thousand dollar week."

For hotels, restaurants, and beach businesses along the gulf coast, the economic impact of the spill couldn't have come at a worse time.

“This is the week then that pays for October, November, December, January, and February so it's not whether you’re profitable this week, but are you profitable enough to sustain throughout the off season?”

It's a question that many business owners are starting to ask. Hope remains that for now people won't stop going to the beach.

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