GULF SHORES, Ala. (WPMI) In 2012 over a five-week for spring break period, some 300,000 people came to Alabama's beaches, spending over a million dollars.
It's prep time for spring break now. One parasail outfit with five locations along the beach is working overtime to get things up and running again.
"Most of our reservations start on Friday, tremendous amount of phone calls from folks booking for Spring Break. We are real excited," said Kerry Begnaud with Pleasure Island Parasail.
On the public beach there are 15 trained life guards on duty as of March 1, new equipment and a noticeably larger beach thanks to recent beach re-nourishment. Now there's an extra 30 to 40 feet along the shoreline on the public beach and over 100 feet near the beach houses and condos.
"We did add beach throughout the whole city in certain pockets where it was worse we added more sand. So if we don't have storms for the next couple of years, which we are hoping we won't and we haven't for the past three years. It was about five years since the last renourishment project," said Grant Brown with the City of Gulf Shores.
The influx of spring breakers begins this week with the largest number of college students coming down between March 11 through Easter weekend.
"Our staffing triples when season comes and we've done a lot of the hiring already. We do have more positions available and we are hiring," said Brad Cohen with the Hangout Restaurant.
Restaurants are hiring and expanding, too. The Hangout is building a permanent stage, expecting to have the first bands playing this weekend.
"I think spring break is continuing to become a destination for college students that weren't before. We are getting a lot of advance plans with people calling asking about private parties. It just seems like the interest in this area is increasing every year, " said Cohen.
Issues with trash pick up last spring break have been addressed by adding Saturday pick-ups beginning this weekend. City leaders continue to market the area as a family friendly destination.