Cape Fear Businesses Prepare For Influx Of Tourists Coming For Azalea Festival And Spring Break | Old North State Wealth News
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Cape Fear businesses prepare for influx of tourists coming for Azalea Festival and spring break



WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Several hundred thousand people will be coming to the Cape Fear this week to attend concerts, fairs and other events associated with the 77th annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, along with spring break happening this week for many students.

Business owners in downtown Wilmington are getting ready for those tourists.

Shuckin’ Shack general manager Sean Higham said all winter is spent preparing for the festival, which usually serves as the start of the tourist season.

“Been doing a lot of staffing,” Higham said. “I hired about 6 new people for the front of the house, a couple people for the back of the house. Getting everybody trained, coming up with specials, events, music, all that good stuff just to, you know, keep people happy and get them entertained.”

According to festival organizers, more than 250,000 people take part in the festival.

According to a study conducted by UNCW, the festival has a $50 million economic impact on the Cape Fear region.

Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau president Kim Hufham said its great having spring break and the festival happen simultaneously.

“But we’re really excited about it, you know,” Hufham said. “Our merchants, our hotels, our, you know, everyone here in our area especially that is involved with the tourism industry knows that this time of year, this is when things will really kick off. Beautiful time of year to be here and everything, so we look at it as a win-win.”

No repair work will occur on the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge this week or during the upcoming festival to make it easier for tourists to get in and out of Wilmington.

Repair work on the westbound lanes of the bridge resumes on April 8th.

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