Waves from oil spill may be felt in Greenville

Published 5:10 pm Thursday, May 6, 2010

While the oil slick in the Gulf is expected to cause a drop in revenue for businesses along the coastline, Greenville City Clerk Sue Arnold doesn’t expect Greenville’s beach-bound tourist traffic to take a big hit.

“A lot of people go to the beach to relax, enjoy a break and some good seafood. Some people don’t even get in the ocean-they relax in the condo or by the pool with a good book and shut off their phone,” Arnold said. “We’re going to take a positive approach and hope families continue their annual summer beach trips that include a stop in Greenville.”

Arnold said lodging tax revenue and gasoline tax revenue usually show an increase in the summer as families go on vacation. Whether this revenue will drop is yet to be determined, but Arnold said this could strongly depend on gas prices.

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However, good seafood will be at a premium if it’s available at all, Arnold said, as she expects the seafood industry to take the worst hit.

William Stinson, whose wife Lana owns a seafood stand off East Commerce Street, said the stand might not make it through the summer.

“We’ve already seen an increase in price cause the shrimpers aren’t able to go out,” Stinson said. “Domestic shrimp and fish are going to be drying up real quick.”

Stinson said he expects the price of shrimp to almost double before Gulf stockpiles run dry, which could be bad news for business.

“People can only pay so much,” Stinson said. “Seafood is a luxury-you can always eat something else.”

Families wanting seafood will either have to deal with higher prices for that caught in the Gulf or buy fish from another area of the country, Stinson said.

“Its just supply and demand,” Stinson said.