SEASIDE, Ore. — This year’s spring break couldn’t come at a better time for businesses along the Oregon coast, especially since the mask mandate was lifted earlier this month. Judging by the crowds on Tuesday afternoon, it seems more people are starting to feel a little more comfortable with traveling.
In Seaside, crowds of people filled the sidewalks and many of them took advantage of some sunshine and warmer weather too. Several families said they were relieved to be able to have a somewhat normal spring break experience this year.
Lindsay Roselle and her family traveled to the coast from Hood River. Roselle works as a teacher, and she said she was not only looking forward to her break, but also finally seeing people’s smiles again.
“It feels like freedom just to say hi more to people,” Roselle said.
Roselle's daughters are likewise thrilled at the change of pace.
"It's really nice because we haven't traveled in quite a while, and just getting outdoors and spending time without going to work and stuff," one of the girls said.
The spring break visitors may be most important for the hotels. Kevin Snyders runs three hotels in Seaside. He said he’s all booked up with no rooms available until later this week.
"Sell-out crowds — they're still coming, they still want their beach environment," said Snyders. "You know it's nice in this area to have such different genres of hoteling and your environment; being at the beach and the mountains that way."
Another manager at the Rivertide Suites said they’re pretty much booked this week too.
Brian Owen with Seaside Chamber of Commerce said he expects restaurants and hotels to do very well over the next couple of weeks. Owen anticipates seeing at least another 15,000 to 20,000 people come through Seaside over the coming weeks.
"We do expect our town to be a very bustling town for the next... probably three to four weeks," Owen said.