Memorial Day weekend brings steady beach crowds

People from in and out of town flocked to the Florence beaches for the long weekend.

Posted: May 24, 2020 6:00 PM
Updated: May 24, 2020 8:13 PM

FLORENCE, Ore. -- The crowds at North Jetty Beach in Florence increased throughout the day on Sunday as people were looking for outdoor activities during the long weekend. 

"I just needed to get out of Seattle," Seattle resident Jen Miller said. "Everybody is still on lockdown. It's been over two months and I have a tiny studio.

Miller decided to take a road trip along the coast once she heard various beaches in Oregon were opening for Memorial Day weekend. Miller said she wasn't worried about safety.

"I feel like this is one of the safest places you can be," Miller.  "It's fresh air coming in from the ocean. It's not like Miami beaches where you can be next to someone. You're going to be pretty spaced out. I had no fears at all."

Karl Engel, owner of Jerry's Place Bar and Grill, said one of his regular customers complained about beach safety concerns. 

"One our local customers who had been down to the beach actually complained he couldn't socially distance and there weren't masks being used," Engel said. 

Despite Gov. Kate Brown's recommendation to stay local over the holiday weekend Florence resident Braxton Jones said he wasn't concerned about the amount of people visiting from out of town.

"People want to get out and go for a drive and see what's going on a little bit," Jones said. "There's still a lot of things that are closed up. So things are looking up for us."

Braxton added tourism can be a good thing for local businesses as many begin the early phase of reopening. 

"It helps the economy here locally, tremendously," Braxton said. "We're always glad to see people from Eugene and farther out."

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Data is updated nightly.

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