But local officials are bracing for an influx of new visitors as more businesses reopen, virtual school years wind down and a holiday weekend beckons.
The seaside town of Tybee Island, whose leaders were among the loudest critics of Kemp's approach, drew nearly 25,000 people last weekend. Mayor Shirley Sessions said she's expecting even larger crowds over the holiday break.
To prepare for the expected visitors, the city of 3,000 plans to assign more parking staff to help clear the roadways and more lifeguards to patrol crowded beaches. She also said local police will more aggressively enforce parking restrictions.
“Are we ready? That is the million-dollar question. Can you really ever be ready for the unknown?” she said. “We’re doing everything we can do to be prepared.”
Further down the coastline, tourism officials in the Brunswick area say some hotels are sold out for the weekend – and increased interest in travel later this year.
“We also are seeing bookings continue to increase for our summer season,” said Scott McQuade, chief executive of the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Although we may not break records for tourism this summer, we are just happy to have our visitors come back.”
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