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A busy Memorial Day weekend is expected at local beaches

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Posted at 7:29 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 00:24:42-04

With Memorial Day weekend coming up, one Central Coast city that typically sees a lot of foot and vehicle traffic is preparing.

Pismo Beach is one of the most visited places on the Central Coast when it comes to holiday weekends and this Memorial Day weekend is expected to be the same.

"Business was all the way down the street with people renting bikes and that's with COVID," said Bill Bookout, owner of Pismo Beach Bike Rental.

Bookout says he expects a bigger crowd this Memorial Day weekend compared to last year's, which is why he decided to stock up on inventory.

"We have a full crew and I think we might still be overwhelmed without even having a full crew. We've bought several brand new surrey bikes," Bookout said.

According to Visit SLO Cal, tourism is looking up this year compared to 2020.

"We know last year Memorial Day weekend was very much impacted by the pandemic and the whole country really shutting down. So as we look at this year, we are comparing it to 2019 to make it a more reasonable comparison," said Cathy Cartier, Visit SLO Cal Chief Marketing Officer.

Compared to April 2019, the average daily rate for hotels across San Luis Obispo County was up 16 percent this year and in the first two weeks of May, it was up 19 percent. Plus, demand went up by 5 percent which means bigger crowds are expected.

"Looking at, you know, bookings really looking forward are looking really good and so we expect to have a busy Memorial Day weekend," Cartier said.

A busy weekend means more patrolling for police, as well.

According to Chief Jeff Smith with the Pismo Beach Police Department, they will be up-staffing, adding a bike patrol and an officer downtown on foot to help address any issues related to crowds.

"Also with the increase in cars within the city, traffic definitely becomes an issue as streets and parking are limited so we will be out to make sure traffic is flowing and people in our downtown are able to enjoy the great city," Chief Smith said.

Hotels nearby say have a lot of reservations, and anyone planning to book a room or make a dinner reservation is advised to plan ahead of time.

Visit SLO Cal also says the hospitality industry on the Central Coast is looking for employees. To view the jobs available, click here.