CCU report says Grand Strand busier for the 4th than last year

The Fourth of July holiday weekend is a busy time along the Grand Strand, and if it has seemed busier than usual this year, you are right.

According to Coastal Carolina University's lodging update, the number of people staying at hotels, condos, and campsites has increased by more than eight percent since this time last year.

"In all the times I've been here, I have really honestly never seen it as busy as last night," said Stuart Gore from North Myrtle Beach.

It's not only hotels seeing the boom, just ask local business owners.

"It has been big all week long, way more than we expected," said Debbie Nichols, owner of Deckerz in North Myrtle Beach. "There is a lot more tourists in town, I do believe."

For local lifeguards, more tourists meant more people to keep track of this week.

"There is always a correlation between the amount of swimmers you have in the water and the amount of people we have on the beach and the number of rescues," said Monty Reed, a lifeguard coordinator for North Myrtle Beach."We probably had close to 30 or 40 rescues in a span of 30 to 45 minutes."