SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) The 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. beach closures across Santa Cruz County came to an end Friday, and businesses near the Ocean are expecting a spike in customers.
The hours restrictions at beaches, although not always followed, limited the amount of tourists coming into Santa Cruz. However, in places like Capitola, many businesses near the beach survive on that business over the summer.
“That’s the reason all these people come here every year. If the beach doesn’t open. If people can’t access the beach, relax on the beach, that strips away what Capitola is,” Capitola Beach Company owner Matt Arthur.
Capitola Beach Company was busy Friday renting out beach water sports gear, like surf boards.
Many tourists flocked to Santa Cruz near the Beach Boardwalk.
“Summer’s happening now. Beaches are back open. Every one's coming out to have a good time,” Santa Cruz resident Louie Demicill said.
That summer crowd feeds much of Loard's Ice Cream’s business on Beach street.
“We get a lot of tourists here, because we’re so close to the boardwalk. The weekends and sunny days are when we’re busiest,” Loard's employee Becca Terrazas said.
The health officer originally planned to keep the beach restrictions until
after Fourth of July weekend, but an inability to control the crowds forced
the reopening. Beach businesses see the change as a win.
“It’s a Saturday [this year] people have it off. If it's hot over the hill there’s going to be tons of people here,” Arthur said.
Another reason the restrictions were lifted is because tourism has opened back up in the state, so the county felt it was time to follow with re-opening beaches.