Although the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon brought thousands of competitors to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, many businesses on the island were not negatively affected by the traffic it brought, despite one closed lane on the Heide Trask Drawbridge.
At a social meeting of the Wrightsville Beach Chamber of Commerce on Monday, March 18, South End Surf Shop owner Jeff DeGroote said it appeared the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament schedule had more of an effect on his business than the marathon, with the games scheduled throughout the weekend keeping many of his patrons glued to their televisions.
As for the hotels, Holiday Inn Resort director of sales and -marketing, Maureen Donovan, said the hotel was full last weekend with many visitors attending conferences in the area. Donovan also said a handful of rooms were booked by marathon competitors.
Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Dan House said the plans his department put in place to deal with the marathon traffic went well. When the race was over and traffic backed up at the bridge, House said his forces were able to make it flow smoothly.
“It went off almost without a hitch,” House said. “We had a pretty nice weekend and generally we have other traffic concerns when that happens, but we implemented the plan we presented to the board [of aldermen] and it went well too. All we have had is positive comments, which is bizarre.”