4th of July Weather Impacts Business

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PANAMA CITY BEACH-- As the Fourth of July weekend comes to a close, business owners are gauging their success by how much money they've made compared to last. Many local businesses saw a big change in traffic this July 4th. Ownes say weather played a huge factor in sales this weekend.

"Last year we came down on the fourth and we got here and there was a lot of flooding, it was wet, a lot of rain. This year it's much better," said Andrew Buffington, PCB visitor.

Shipwreck Island Waterpark had to close for one of the busiest holiday weekends, but now business this year is looking up for the waterpark.

"This year, not only has the business been good, it's been extremely good. One of the best fourth of July's for us here at Shipwreck Island maybe in the last 20 years," said Buddy Wilkes, Shipwreck Island Waterpark general manger.

Meantime, last year business at Wonderworks was booming. This year it's a little different.

"All week it rained so we had great sales last year, this year we haven't seen as much traffic. We are one of the few things your can get out of the rain and have a good time doing," said Kim Mallory, Wonderworks manager.

The Wonderworks manager admits business is slower this holiday weekend, but the attraction still sees a lot of people stopping by after 5pm. She said, "We have a lot of people come in after they've spent the whole day on the beach, the y all have sunburns, they're hot they want to get inside and cool off."

While the next fourth of July weekend's weather is still a mystery, Wilkes hopes he's just as lucky. He said, "This year we won and maybe they didn't have quite the numbers they did last year, but we will see."

While the visitors benefited local businesses, law enforcement had a tough time controlling the crowds on the beach. However, officials say all-in-all, Fourth of July crime was low.