A SLOWER than usual start to the school holidays has been saved by a solid Easter long weekend for traders.
With four public holidays back-to-back for the first time after Easter Sunday was declared a public holiday, Bargara Coastal Accommodation owner Michael Owens said restaurants who chose to open reaped the rewards.
"This is the first holiday period we've had the tourist information centre at Bargara and the number one inquiry we had was 'what restaurants are open?',” he said.
"Those who chose to open appeared to do very well.
"But some did close, which was a bit disappointing.”
C5 Bistro at Bargara elected to open every day of the long weekend and owner Mark Crawford said it was worth it, but they did receive a lot of comments about the number of places that were closed.
"Saturday was our busiest day, we opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner and we were at capacity,” he said.
"The other days we were at about 60%, so we could have done with a few more numbers, but it was definitely worth opening.
"It was a little bit quieter today (yesterday) but you have to expect that as people make their way home.”
But Mr Crawford said it wasn't just visitors looking to dine out.
"I'd say the numbers were about 60% locals and 40% visitors,” he said.
Despite many accommodation facilities at full capacity for the Easter weekend, Mr Owens said it did appear the knock-on impact from Cyclone Debbie had put a dent in trade at the beginning of the holidays.
"It was a significantly slower start to the holidays... we put that down to the cyclone,” he said.
"It was a disappointing start, but certainly not for Easter.
"We were full (across all our facilities) apart from one or two rooms for the Easter weekend.
"A typical Easter weekend all up.”
But for those who chose, beautiful weather conditions made for a great weekend and crowds turned out in force for weekend events, including the Woodgate Easter Fair.