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Destin Harbor prepares for holiday weekend

The smell of diesel fuel and suntan lotion has taken over the Destin Harbor as thousands of folks are in town for the Fourth of July weekend, one of the biggest of the year. But it takes a lot of work to get ready for all those people.

Bruce Belser, owner of Dockside Water Sports, says "Everyone that I have on staff is working, regardless of how many days in a row they've been working. But they understand, that's the nature of the business."

That's the way it is for many businesses and attractions along the Gulf Coast this Fourth of July weekend. With thousands of tourists in town and locals coming out to enjoy the weather, it's all hands on deck. It's people and preparation, says Patrick Berry of the Gulfarium, that make the holiday weekend go smoothly.

"We'll be continuously touching base with all of our staff members, our managers will be touching base, making sure that things are running smoothly,"

Some businesses have relied on technology, like internet based pre-sales to ease the burden.

Patrick Berry says "They check it out, they check us out, online, become familiar with the park by viewing it online, and making those bookings online so that they're ready to go when they come in the park."

And of course, a good old fashioned barrel of elbow grease is a must.

According to Bruce Belser "Everything mechanical always has the opportunity to break down. So we've gone over it with a fine tooth comb to make sure they're mechanically sound, and of course we have to make sure they're cleaned and shined and polished and ready to go."

Belser says if his business is any indication, this year could be the best Fourth of July weekend since the BP oil spill.

"This year, we've been booked up on the Fourth of July for about a month. And it's very unusual. That hasn't happened in years."

Many businesses say they'll offer a local discount over the weekend, hoping that folks who live here will come enjoy the weather too.