ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (AP) -After a disastrous summer tourism season and a slower-than-normal fall, Northern and Midwestern visitors known as "snowbirds" already are flocking along the Gulf for the winter, filling up condominium parking lots and campgrounds with cars and RVs from states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.
This year, snowbirds are critical for the companies and property
owners who have suffered for months because of the BP oil spill.
Without the snowbirds, some businesses teetering on the edge of solvency may not make it until the weather warms up again.
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