VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Some Valdosta businesses right off Interstate 75 are already starting to feel the effects of the holiday weekend.
They've been busy so far this week and they're expecting more customers this weekend.
You wouldn't have known by looking this afternoon, but the always-welcome annual increase in business during the week leading up to Labor Day has been in full swing this week at the Sunoco gas station just off of I-75 at exit 16.
"We're always busy, but it's much busier," Co-Manager Leah Smoaks says this weekend being the opening weekend for college football has been a big help in keeping the trend going this year. "Got the football coming up; we're looking for the footballers."
The near two dollar a gallon gas prices in town right now are putting a smile on the faces of people passing through town on their way to their holiday destinations and that in turn is also playing a part in this year's holiday business increase. "They love it. Up north, it's much higher. When they get to here, they're like, 'Hey, we can gas up twice as much.'"
But with the increased traffic on the roads comes an increase in the potential for accidents. State troopers are already seeing that potential come to fruition. "Unfortunately, even now we're starting to see a higher number of wrecks. It's something that is very concerning. It's something we're trying to stay on top of," said Shane Copeland of the GSP.
Hopefully, that means the roads and the gas station will be just as busy Monday when people head home, as they will have made it to their destinations safely. Restaurants at Exits 16 and 11 say they've been a little slow, but are expecting to be busy this weekend.