East Tennesseans Plan for Extended Holiday Weekend

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Knoxville (WVLT) - Will it be a boost for business? It just might be. With the Fourth of July falling in the middle of the week, businesses may benefit from the bookend weekends.

Volunteer TV’s Jim Freeman finds out that businesses are looking for sales to be up, from June 29th all the way through the eighth.

AAA estimates that more than 41-million Americans are hitting the road and most are taking a longer than usual holiday.

"We've actually found out that most people are leaving today for the Fourth of July. They're taking the whole week for their vacation,” says Stephanie Milani from AAA of East Tennessee.

That's bound to have cash registers making music.

"We're actually thinking it's gonna be about the same this weekend. We think it'll be pretty strong going into the 4th as well as coming out,” says Marcia Greenway, manager of the North Peters Food City.

And with the way the calendar falls, whether you're grilling out this weekend or next weekend, or both, you don't really need an excuse.

"We are celebrating this weekend with some friends in town, and we're having a big cookout at our house. So, we're getting some groceries for that,” says Michelle Clark.

From the grocery store to the marina, now through the eighth, business is expected to be good.

"I think we'll have good business both this weekend and next weekend. I think most people plan on celebrating this weekend,” says Paige McKinnon from Concord Marina.

"We'll go out Sunday afternoon and see what that has to offer us,” says boater Mark Quinn. “Might go back on the Fourth, but certainly next weekend as well so."

For one business, a holiday on the weekend is an advantage, but falling on a Wednesday's not bad either.

"Generally, in the middle of the week, it's not quite the impact, but it does carry over from one weekend to the next when it falls right in the middle of the week like that,” says Party City manger Eric Lewis.

So, no matter how many days you're getting away, "It's really going to be good for the businesses that they choose to vacation nearby,” Milani says.

Numbers from AAA East Tennessee indicate gas prices are down from about a month ago.

However, they're up eleven-cents from a year ago.

Friday's average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Knoxville is $2.83.

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