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Beach business good as 2017 summer season closes

Karl Malgiero
Delaware Public Media

The Labor Day weekend is wrapping up and with it the summer beach season.

The rainy start to this final weekend of the summer season may have kept people off the beach for a bit, but Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce executive director Carol Everhart says it helped beach businesses finish the summer on a strong note.

"It was good for shopping on Saturday, not such a great beach day," said Everhart.

Everhart rates the 2017 summer season “pretty good” with occupancy slightly up in both rentals and overnight stays in hotels and motels. But she notes that didn’t necessarily translate into more customers for everyone.


"The restaurants are reporting mostly great business in that time frame. Retail, as always, is a mixed bag. And once again, it did not seem to matter the geographic location. It wasn't just downtown. It wasn't just Route 1 It wasn't just Dewey. It was mixed all over."


Everhart says competition may be playing a role in those mixed results.


"Definitely we're a growing area. Where you used to have maybe 100 eateries, you've got 200 eateries," said Everhart. "We used to have not as much retail, you've got it all up and down now, just about every byway that you come in and out of. So, that competition takes a bite. And I think the internet is playing a big role, especially in retail.

Everhart adds complaints remain about heavy stop-and-go-traffic on Route 1 and lack of parking, especially when the weather is bad.

Everhart says you may be able to avoid that if you come during the fall and winter months when there are still plenty activities in the Rehoboth-Dewey area.