Beach traffic is leading to booming business for some Brantley stores, but could it be hurting others?
For stores lining Highway 331 in Brantley, cashing in on summer beach traffic brings in the majority of their profits for the year. Employees at Papa's Place, like Karen Foster, say they are seeing a 15% increase in business compared to last summer, "It's not raining now, and more people are traveling and they're just stopping, and we have a lot of people from Chicago and Tennessee and all."
Brantley mayor Bernie Sullivan says an average of 24,000 cars travel through the city daily. He says there have been so many people stopping in Brantley, that some city workers workers could see it in their paychecks, "Very optimistic. We hope that maybe we'll be able to, first time in a few years, to maybe give a salary increase to our employees. Now don't hold me to it, but we'll have to look at it."
Other business owners, like Michael Barnes, say they are not seeing much of an increase from the beach traffic, because their businesses depends on local customers, "A lot of folks, our local folks, are all going to the beach, and they're out travelling, ballgames still going on, so they're from here to here and that kind of hurts us a little bit.
Most business owners say they believe the summer boom Brantley is experiencing will last through Labor Day.
Some also attribute the higher volume of customers to the trend in many people wanting locally grown and farm fresh produce.