Matt Petrillo reports.
- Well, we are just one week away from the unofficial start of summer.
- Memorial Day weekend is almost here, and businesses are hoping for a strong summer season.
- Matt Petrillo is in Atlantic City, this evening, where it looks like plenty of people are getting an early start to the season. Matt?
MATT PETRILLO: Yeah, that's right. So many crowds are here for an early start to the long weekend next weekend. Down the shore behind me on the Atlantic City boardwalk, there are so many people out and about, just soaking up that warm, summer sun right now. Now, some businesses tell us, they're still having a little difficulty hiring, but we're told, they're ready for those big crowds.
- This is a tradition.
- As the weather warms up, droves of people are eagerly heading down the shore.
- It's warm weather, beautiful beaches, lots of sunshine.
- Memorial Day weekend, which is the unofficial start of summer, is still a week away. But we found plenty of people on the beach, Friday, including these friends, soaking up the sun here in Margate.
- It's beautiful. Nice, strong sun.
- Is there anything better than having your toes in the sand?
DIANE VOGT: No, this is it. It could be a little warmer, but it's great.
- Nearby, these kids were busy digging in the sand. The relaxed COVID restrictions means businesses are back open, and many families are ready to make memories this summer after a difficult 2020, including the Oliver family, who planned this trip to Margate.
NANCY OLIVER: I'm very excited. I'm fully vaccinated. So I feel like, as long as people continue to get vaccinated, you know, all the doors should be open pretty soon, hopefully.
- Businesses are hoping, too, but continue to struggle with the worker shortage.
- Finding cooks and other skilled positions very difficult right now.
- Still, the general manager of the Water Dog Smokehouse here in [? Wegener ?] is preparing for big crowds ahead of the long holiday weekend that's now just seven days away.
JOHN CONNOR: We are making sure that we have every available staff member ready to work, but also, we have live entertainment on the Thursday and Friday night of Memorial Day weekend.
- And here in Atlantic City, some stores and restaurants tell us, they are also still hiring just days before Memorial Day weekend. Now, still, they tell us, they are ready for those big crowds that are set to get here. And it looks like they are already here right now. Reporting live in Atlantic City, Matt Petrillo, CBS 3, Eyewitness News.
- All right, Matt, thank you.