4th of July Beach Crowds Not Quite as Expected

The holiday weekend did not bring the expected crowds to the beach.

The holiday weekend did not bring the crowds expected to San Diego-area beaches and businesses. 

“On Sunday, it was like a ghost town here,” said Dennis Fagan, the owner of P.B. Sun and Surf.

The number of people who gathered at the beach over the three-day weekend was about half of what was expected, San Diego Lifeguards reported Monday.

The gray overcast skies San Diego experienced were not good for spending a day at the beach or spending money at local businesses.

Saturday was by far the busiest day, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesperson Lee Swanson.

He reported beach attendance at 313,000 people Saturday. Over the holiday weekend, a little over half a million people enjoyed the sand and surf, officials said.

Sunday was the slowest day with approximately 66,000 people heading to the shore.

In comparison, last year's crowds numbered 459,000 with the Fourth of July holiday on a Friday. An estimated 275,500 people were reported on San Diego's beaches on July 5, 2014.

Rich Walwood of Mission Surf said business may be off slightly over last year's holiday weekend.

“Business wise in terms of numbers, it was about the same as last year, maybe a little bit down, 10 to 20 percent,” he said.

While many restaurants and bars say they did not see that big of a drop in customers, it's the specialty shops that seemed to take the biggest hit.

The owner of Ocean's Ice Cream in PB, says business was down about $3,000 over the holiday weekend.

Fagan says his business was down some 40-percent.

“Usually on July 3rd, I'm on my knees in here praying to the weather gods that there will be no marine layer, no fog and no rain. And this year, they didn't listen,” he said laughing.

On Friday, tourism officials told NBC 7 that 99 percent of the area's hotel rooms were booked for the weekend.

San Diego Lifeguards also reported they handled 258 medical aid calls and took part in 154 water rescues over the holiday weekend.

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