After a weeklong beach closure, Huntington and Newport Beach local businesses are in economic recovery, prompted by a 133,000-gallon oil spill from a pipeline leak off the Pacific coast on Oct. 2.
Harbors, beaches and boat access were restricted after the oil spill. Local businesses such as boat rides for sightseeing and fishing stopped operations and were forced to close. Davy’s Locker Whale Watching and Sportfishing canceled their cruises which resulted in lost revenue.
An employee for Let’s Go Fishing, Dave Wiggins, saw a 75% drop in profit the first day of the oil spill but now sees tourism has regained its momentum on the Huntington Beach pier.
“The worst projection did not occur,” Steve Rosansky President and CEO for the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce said.
Rosansky is optimistic for the economy of Newport Beach. The oil spill had less of an economic impact than initially anticipated.
Local beach economies saw a decline in revenue after the beach closures. In addition, whale watching, fishing and transportation businesses could not perform daily operations after harbor and ocean access was restricted.
The cancellation of the Huntington Beach Airshow’s third day lost over $70 million in revenue. This does not include the millions in revenue projected from tourism.
Although Rosansky said that tens of thousands of dollars were lost due to hotel cancellations, he judged the city’s economy to be doing well amidst the oil spill recovery.
Smaller businesses that heavily depend on tourism have shown enthusiasm from employees regarding the economic setback.
Manager of Dwight’s Food and Rental Frank Dowd suffered from the weeklong closure and began operations again on Saturday. Dowd affirms that the oil spill is not as catastrophic as others may think.
Businesses along the Balboa Peninsula that depend on the usage of boats for sightseeing, such as Davy’s Locker and The Catalina Flyer, can depart from the harbor for sightseeing tourism to continue.
Hill’s Boat Services, which provides repair and fuel, saw some economic activity since boats weren’t able to use their fuel to go onto farther waters but were able to stay active with the maintenance of ships and even sell refreshments.
Beaches reopened on Oct. 11, but commercial and retail fishing is still at a halt. However, rental shops, sightseeing tours and restaurants can now operate regularly despite a tough week of sale decline.
Cities have continued to monitor the water quality and have reported non-toxic levels in various locations with undetectable amounts of hydrocarbons that identify the level of oil present in it.
For a more detailed description of Huntington Beach safety measures, visit the cities’ website.