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Blue Angels Airshow impact on the local economy
The Blue Angels Air Show on Pensacola Beach each summer draws tens of thousands of people, and millions of dollars.
The crowds were not disappointed by the Blues performance on Saturday and neither were the local businesses. Many of them are reporting the highest sales numbers ever.
The Blue Angels dazzled as they made their big return to the sky above Pensacola Beach Saturday.
"We had a full hotel and people were eating, drinking, and enjoying the Blues it can't get any better than that," said John McCay
Joe McCay is the Operations Manager at the Margaritaville Hotel on Pensacola Beach. He says the hotel was completely booked for the weekend.
"It's that two biggest weekends of the year. The Fourth of July rolls right into the Blue Angels Airshow and a lot of people stay for the whole week."
But now it's time to clean up, recover from the weekend and check on the economic impact of the event.
"This is the event that really makes for breaks a lot of businesses out here," said Buck Lee.
Business was booming at Sidelines Bar and Grill starting on Thursday.
"It's like giving us all the other holidays combined," said Kevin Perkins.
Kevin Perkins is a manager at the bar and grill, and says they had a strong finish through Saturday night.
"If you include the Fourth of July, this is by far the best two weeks the last two years."
It was quite a scene at the beach on Saturday. It was hard to find a piece of open sand to plop your beach gear down on...
And the sheer number of people swimming in the gulf at times was impressive.
So how many people were out at Pensacola Beach on Saturday?
"If you look at five in the morning until two in the afternoon and let's say you had 20,000 cars come through the toll, three people per vehicle, that's 60 then you got hotels and condos and homes, plus people on boats you could come close to 100,000," said Buck Lee.
The official number of how many people where here on the island this weekend will be released on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.