Bumper crowds for bumper weekend
THOUSANDS of people descended on Weston as the scorching weather attracted droves of beachgoers and shoppers over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
Tourists and residents made the most of the sizzling temperatures by enjoying a day out at the beach as well as visiting the town’s attractions and shops.
Visitors to the Grand Pier managed to eat their way through 32,000 ice creams and 24,000 doughnuts.
Liz Lewis, marketing manager, said: “Apart from our opening weekend last October, this was our busiest weekend ever.
“We had 100,000 visitors over the Easter weekend and beat our busiest day ever, before the fire in July 2008 when we had 20,400 visitors.
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“I am confident, with another bank holiday upon us, we will break the 500,000 mark.”
The Sovereign Shopping Centre’s car park saw a 76 per cent rise over the long weekend and cash tills were ringing across the town centre.
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Sarah Tucker, shopping centre administrator, said: “The weather did help, the car park was very busy and people were shopping within the centre.
“From the traders I have spoken to they said trade did very well.”
The popularity of the shops over the bank holiday came with its problems as some shops were left short of change after Natwest ran out of coins.
Nicky Ellis, co-owner of The Coffee House, had to make an emergency dash to Bristol to collect change from another branch - and then only got some of what was needed.
It seems Weston’s popularity as a seaside resort is on the up, and new figures released by Hotels.com show the town is experiencing ‘significant’ increases in hotel searches.
Weston tops the list of the seaside towns searched on the website, with an increase of 459 per cent when compared to the same time last year.
The success of the Easter bank holiday could be repeated over the next four days when the second bumper weekend of the year greets us.