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Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 2:47pm

Beryl Didn't Hurt Tourism

Tropical depression Beryl’s arrival on Memorial Day weekend apparently didn’t greatly impact tourism, and may have actually helped in the long run.

Scott McQuade, with the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau, says visitors came to the coast despite the storm, and the rain drove people into shops and restaurants.

“Because the beach activities were basically cancelled for the day due to the rain, it drove a lot of those visitors into more retail focused activities.”

McQuade says while some hotels reported a few visitors requesting early check-out Monday due to the rain, other visitors extended their stays so they wouldn’t have to drive through the storm.

Art Webster, supervisory ranger at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, says they’ve gotten nearly 6 inches of rain, which will allow them to open more canoe trails to visitors.

“We might have enough to get into the Mosell Prairie and we might be able to get a little further up into Chester Prairie. And I think we’ll be able to open Roundtop for backcountry use. We have a platform there for camping.”

He says they are almost back to normal water levels, which will also allow boat tours to go farther into the park.

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