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Big crowds at Delaware beaches for Fourth of July, but businesses still short on workers

Delaware Public Media

Local officials say it may have been a record turnout to Delaware beaches this Fourth of July weekend.

Independence Day celebrations were held on Saturday, July 3 in Rehoboth Beach and Sunday, July 4 in Dewey Beach.

Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce President Carol Everhart says it’s been many years since she’s seen such a high rate of overnight occupancy in the area’s hotels, motels and other rentals.

She says beach season in the First State has been off to a strong early start.  

“Typically August is the biggest month. They would typically be trying to get in that beach time before they go back to school,” said Everhart. “But this year has been 100 percent different and we are seeing really high visitation.”        

Late March and April of this year saw vastly higher occupancy than last year during COVID lockdowns. June’s rates this year were significantly higher as well -though some of the restrictions were eased during that time last year.

Everhart says she expects the high visitations to continue, though she adds the hospitality industry and other businesses in Delaware’s beach communities continues to struggle hiring workers. She says many businesses are having to adjust their hours.

“I’ve just never seen anything like it and neither has the business community,” she said. “We are fortunate that our visitors have, for the most part, been very patient and understanding of the lack of help our business community has.”