GULF SHORES, AL- Quiet roads, empty parking lots and abandoned beaches.Locals are celebrating the mass tourist exodus, the start of a new school year and are reclaiming their little piece of paradise.
We counted only 19 people at the main, public beach in Gulf Shores Wednesday afternoon. Last week and in the weeks of June and July, there were hundreds!
via Local Beaches Are Quiet.
The hot days of August are fading and so are the summer beach crowds. We were in Gulf Shores today and found less traffic and smaller crowds on the beach than just a few Friday’s ago. Many people are saying summer doesn’t last until Labor Day any more.
via Gulf Shores Beach Crowds Fade.
Battling to ease beach traffic congestion, Gulf Shores and the state highway department will team up again this fall and next year for projects on Alabama 59, between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico.
via Bumper to bumper at the beach: Gulf Shores pushing to improve traffic flow | AL.com.
GULF SHORES, AL — Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism (CVB) and the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission, is one of 47 tourism professionals across the nation to earn the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation, the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the Destination Marketing industry.
via Beth Gendler of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism receives national industry recognition – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
The special session of the Alabama Legislature begins Monday, talking about tax hikes.
But FOX10 News is keeping a close eye on one special session issue of great importance to our area: What will happen to the more than $1 billion in economic damage payments from BP?
Governor Robert Bentley and lawmakers from Mobile and Baldwin County have very different ideas on where the money should go, but is there room for compromise?
via Lawmakers to take up BP settlement, tax hikes in special session – FOX10 News | WALA.
FOX10 News | WALA
Stay awhile. You’ll get it. That’s the tag line tourism leaders with Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast are using when promoting all there is to see and do in south Mississippi. According to the tri-county tourism executive director, Renee Areng, Visit South Mississippi has a budget of $3.1 million this year. Of that, leaders are spending 80%, or about $2.5 million, on marketing south Mississippi to people across the country. That’s all generated from the occupancy tax on hotels in Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties. But that’s not a lot when you compare it to other tourism entities like Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, which have an operating budget of $7 million.
via Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast: “Stay awhile. You’ll get it.” – WLOX.com – The News for South Mississippi.
Local 15 news has been digging into boat accident data just released by the U.S. Coast Guard. We wanted to see where the most accidents happen in our area and what causes them. Local 15′s Andrea Ramey investigates in this Reality Check.
In 2014, 21 boating accidents with injuries or at least $2,000 in damage happened in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. One third of those accidents happened in Orange Beach, which does not surprise Sgt. Rich Nolte.
“We have a heavy amount of boat traffic in this area, and a large amount of that boat traffic are people who are tourists,” said Sgt. Nolte.
via 2014 Boating Accidents, Where and Why They Happened – WPMI – Mobile Top Stories – LOCAL 15.
A new beginning for “The Little Zoo that Could”.
“This is not the first time we had a groundbreaking or whatever out here and we felt strongly that we needed to make things happen,” says project manager Joey Ward.
A new vision for the zoo revealed Monday night for what will be a premiere destination. “Nobody wanted to see another shovel dig dirt,” says Ward, “they wanted to see something happen, see something spectacular.”
via New Gulf Shores Zoo Under Construction.
With condominium development pressing on the beach and new residential projects dotting its back-bay areas, Orange Beach has reached a tipping point, according to Mayor Tony Kennon.
Unless the city gets traffic relief, he said, “We’re really going to have to start considering a building moratorium of some kind.
“He said that the summer gridlock is putting the city’s quality of life under siege.
via Orange Beach mayor, sick of clogged traffic, talks building halt | AL.com.
Mixed in with tourism heavy hitters like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park, Gulf Shores earned a spot on Country Living magazine’s “20 Places All Americans Should See Before They Die.”
The Hearst Corp.-published magazine — with 1.6 million paid subscribers, 115,000 followers on Twitter and 2.3 million likes on Facebook — said the coastal Alabama city’s “superfine sand” rivals “some of the softest beaches in the world.”
via Gulf Shores named must-see American destination by Country Living magazine | AL.com.
The second annual Wharf Uncorked is returning with wine, spirits, and food tastings held at the beach. Tickets are now on sale, and this year’s event will continue the tradition of providing tastings from some of the region’s top chefs while also adding new culinary delights.
via Sample some of the Gulf Coast’s bests at the Wharf Uncorked | AL.com.
Shut down one of the only two ways on and off of Pleasure Island. Add to the mix that the majority of people driving around aren’t from around here and you’ve got a mess.
“We have to take detours to get where we need to go,” says Drew McCay. “It takes us way out-of-the-way. Maybe 30 minutes extra.”
via Barge Accident Shows Need for Another Island Bridge.
It seems asking nicely just isn’t enough on Pensacola Beach.
For two years, Pensacola Beach ambassadors have been asking beachgoers to kindly move their belongings back to the dune line or take them with them when they leave. Some have complied, others not so much.
via SRIA leader: Stop leaving stuff on beach.
The endless amount of trash left behind after major events on Pensacola Beach like this weekend’s Red, White and Blues Air Show is nothing new for those living on the island.
However, the Santa Rosa Island Authority wants to get rid of the mess left behind on the beach, and they’re taking the first step.
On Wednesday evening, the SRIA voted in favor of getting rid of anything left on the beach after 7 p.m.
Residents are glad something is being done to keep the beaches clean.
via SRIA votes to remove items left on beach after 7pm – WEAR – Pensacola Top Stories – ABC.
Film actor Nicolas Cage caused quite a stir while filming part of the movie “USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage” in Orange Beach over the last couple of weeks. Fans were able to capture the star in photographs but David Walter was able to capture something else. “We have his hand prints and they will be installed in a pyramid reef along with a granite plaque with his name.”
via Movie Star Leaves Lasting Impression in Orange Beach.
ORANGE BEACH, AL — They are coming and coming and coming. And they are going to keep coming.
And there is going to be more of them coming as more places for them to stay on Pleasure Island continue be built and more ball fields to host more games are on drawing boards in Orange Beach and Foley.
via Traffic gridlock sparks talk of Wolf Bay bridge – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
ORANGE BEACH, AL — Capt. Lori Deangelis is known as the Dolphin Queen of Pleasure Island and her boat also carries that name.
But with the stir created on June 16 at Bear Point Marina that could possibly change.
“My phone has been blowing up with calls,” she said the following day.
via Dolphin Queen also offers swim with mermaid trips at Bear Point – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
When summer rolls around, you can expect a constant flow of cars heading down Highway 59 to get to the beach and traveling along beach boulevard once they arrive.
And while there certainly are crosswalks available, it didn’t take more than five minutes for FOX10 News to spot several people on West Beach Boulevard who decided to jay walk instead.
via Does Gulf Shores need more crosswalks? – FOX10 News | WALA.
eff Wheelock is no stranger to the art of carving. As a fourth generation woodcrafter, born from German and Native American master woodcraftsman he has carved his name into history along the Gulf Coast and the world. His pieces span throughout over 56 countries. Jeff will be demonstrating his skills in live chainsaw art and carving at Tacky Jacks in Gulf Shores on Wednesday, June 17 from 11am-12pm.
via Chainsaw Carving at Tacky Jacks in Gulf Shores.
GULF SHORES, AL — In May 2015, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism celebrated an exceptional group of advocates for the Alabama Gulf Coast – its volunteer ambassadors – at the tourism bureau’s annual Ambassador Luncheon at Craft Farms Golf Resort.
via Ambassadors dedicate time, passion to beach tourism bureau – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
GULF SHORES, AL It maybe hard to tell without actually being here but these waves are five to seven feet and when they crash into shore they can knock you down or in a matter of seconds, swallow you up.
This was Branten and Marian Pedler’s first visit to Gulf Shores. “I wasn’t expecting any surf in the gulf,” says Branten, “so this is alright.”
“Five lifeguard towers along the beach is amazing,” adds Marian. “I’ve never seen that before.”
via Rough Surf Along Baldwin County Beaches | WKRG.
Congressman Bradley Byrne’s red snapper bill cleared a major hurdle in congress Monday.
The House of Representative passed H.R. 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act.
The bill passed with a 225-152 vote.
via House Passes Byrne’s Snapper Bill.
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (AP) – With the Memorial Day holiday here, fallout from the oil spill that left Gulf Coast beaches smeared with gooey tar balls and scared away visitors in 2010 is being credited, oddly, with something no one imagined back then: An increase in tourism in the region.
Five years after the BP disaster, the petroleum giant that was vilified during heated town hall meetings for killing a way of life is now being praised by some along the coast for spending more than $230 million to help lure visitors back to an area that some feared would die because of the spill.
via Once vilified, BP now getting credit for gulf tourism boom – FOX5 Vegas – KVVU.
Rainy weather didn’t stop folks from enjoying Memorial Day in Gulf Shores. Beach Safety Supervisor and Lifeguard Scott Smothers said it was the most crowded Memorial Day weekend he can remember, and he’s been working in Gulf Shores for 13 years.
Our Local 15 News crew ran into vacationers from Arkansas, Louisiana and as far away as Missouri.
via Folks Pack Gulf Shores on Memorial Day – WPMI – Mobile Top Stories – LOCAL 15.
Memorial Day weekend is the kick off to the summer beach season in Gulf Shores. Thousands crowded Gulf Shores beaches over the weekend. Even though there were plenty of folks making the most of the holiday.
The cars heading north on Highway 59 Monday, May 25, 2015 far outweighed those heading to the beach. While most were returning to wherever home is, there were still plenty of visitors who had to get one last taste of what Gulf Shores has to offer before making their departure.
FOX10 News | WALA
via Gulf Shores big draw for out-of-state Memorial Day visitors – FOX10 News | WALA.
With waves breaking four to six feet, red flags flying and thunderstorms threatening, it’s not the best beach day this Memorial Day.
There is never a bad day at the beach, right?
via Weather Dampens Memorial Day at the Beach.
GULF SHORES, AL (WALA) – The summer tourist season has started at the beaches, and if you haven’t noticed by the amount of traffic in the Bay area, hundreds of people are in town for Memorial Day Weekend.
With a bright shining sun, clear skies, and hot sand, many people spent Saturday on the beach. People came from all over the country to enjoy the three day weekend. With tourists, comes traffic.
via Tourists, locals enjoy beaches for Memorial Day weekend – FOX10 News | WALA.
When the scuba-diving community considered a destination in the past, Alabama was not a location that popped up regularly.
Those who love diving along the state’s Gulf Coast hope that is rapidly changing with the latest effort to bring a new awareness of the diving opportunities in Alabama state waters and a little farther offshore.
via Poseidon’s Playground Adds to Alabama’s Diving Opportunities.
The tourist season officially kicks off this weekend on the Gulf Coast (unless you count that whole Hangout Fest thing) and there are a bevy of events planned for the beach towns along the coast to accommodate what is expected to be a large number of visitors.
Here’s a rundown of some of the weekend events along the Gulf Coast:
via Memorial Day weekend events: Fire dancers, floppiness, NFL cheerleaders headed to the coast | AL.com.
Sidewalk projects are in the works for this and other areas but it takes time and money.
Heading down West Beach Boulevard there is almost as much foot traffic as cars and trucks and it won’t ease up as the summer season begins…
via Sidewalk Projects Coming to Gulf Shores.