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Rehoboth and Dewey Beach visitors on track to exceed seven million average in 2024

Rental costs have been higher in recent years, but that hasn’t stopped people from booking at the beach.
Delaware Public Media
Rental costs have been higher in recent years, but that hasn’t stopped people from booking at the beach.

Visitors to Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches are growing in the summer season and beyond.

Hotel and rental bookings in the late spring and early summer months were slow, but have been “non-stop” since Memorial Day weekend according to Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce President Carol Everhart.

Everhart says the Fourth of July weekend is always a hit too and there will be no shortage of activities.

But Everhart notes the beaches are a “year-round” attraction, and are on track to exceed seven million visitors this year. The typical pre-pandemic average was between seven and eight million – the first summer businesses’ reopened after the pandemic it boomed to 10 million, and last year it was 7.1 million.

“We have more visitation in September and October than we do in May and June," Everhart says. "And that’s because number one, the ocean, the water has warmed up and it stays warm. And we have so many events. Year-round now we have events so that brings the people in.”

And the beaches themselves are not the only attraction.

“Little sidewalk sales, you would think that wouldn’t bring people in, but it does," Everhart says. "We’re tax free so it brings a tremendous amount of visitation in May. We also have arts festivals, we have restaurant week right after Memorial Day which keeps the people here. There’s movies and bonfires on the beach in Dewey that start in June and run all the way through mid-August.”

Everhart adds that the number of permanent residents is growing along with rentals like Bed and Breakfasts’ and Air BnB’s.

However staffing remains a concern for many businesses due to a lack of housing that is affordable for employees.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.