ATLANTIC BEACH, CARTERET COUNTY - The tourism season is now under way in the Crystal Coast, and lots of people had hoped the Double Tree Hotel, which is the former Sheraton Hotel, would be ready too in Atlantic Beach. While it was scheduled to re-open this upcoming weekend, the date has now changed to at least mid-June.
The then-Sheraton Hotel was damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011 and has not been opened since then.
We headed to Carteret County Thursday to talk with business owners in the area.
Scott Rice is the owner of Surfari Restaurant and Bar, just across the street from the hotel. The restaurant had to close in the past due to slow business but reopened four weeks ago.
"We know we're going to be a lot slower the first part of the summer without the Double Tree being open. We wish them the best and hope they open as soon as possible because it is keeping the economy suppressed here until they do," said Rice.
Marty Matsess, VP of operations for the Double Tree, says they completely gutted every room and started from scratch. He adds when the doors open, he knows business will be good.