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Businesses, visitors report busy holiday weekend at Oceano Dunes

Many locals and visitors were going to the Oceano Dunes for some Labor Day weekend activities, but the got stuck in the mess.
Posted at 6:54 PM, Sep 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-05 23:37:52-04

The holiday weekend brought many people to the Central Coast, boosting business but also causing significant traffic.

Visitors in Oceano said this is seemingly the busiest Labor Day weekend they have ever seen at the Oceano Dunes and the lines each morning are significant.

Visiting the dunes has been a popular activity throughout this Labor Day weekend.

“I've never seen it so busy in all my life," said Fred Ramirez, a camper from Sacramento.

"A lot of locals were like, ‘I've never seen it like this’ and we were like, ‘Yeah, it's pretty crazy’," said Desiree Bailey, a salesperson with Steve's ATV Rentals.

Pretty crazy is one way to describe the crowd of people who have been showing up to the Oceano Dunes early every morning this holiday weekend.

Campers say the line from the morning rush on Pier Avenue clears by midday before picking up again in the evening.

"It's been pretty busy during the day and then it dies down at night,” said Ulyses Marquez, who is visiting from Santa Cruz.

Marquez comes to the dunes often and says this is one of the busiest weekends of the year. "We got in line maybe around six. It was open around seven and we were maybe halfway in line."

Though the lines are an inconvenience for visitors, nearby businesses are raking in a profit, helping them recover from financial losses they suffered during the pandemic.

"It's really good for local businesses. It brings up the money that we lost during COVID," said Myah Salinas, a salesperson with Steve's ATV Rentals.

People say the hot temperatures are what drove most people to visit the coast from inland areas over the holiday weekend and though seemingly more crowded than ever before, visitors still enjoyed their trip to the Central Coast.

"It was different from any other weekend throughout the year,” Marquez said.

The traffic this year can also be attributed to one of the Dunes entrances being closed during construction.