East End hot spots such as Gurney’s Inn reported 100...

East End hot spots such as Gurney’s Inn reported 100 percent occupancy rates this year for the week of July Fourth. (June 26, 2007) Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Long Island's East End hotels saw a surge in business for the Fourth of July holiday, with occupancy spiking midweek and continuing through the weekend, a trend that surprised many hotel owners.

Statewide, 74 percent of hotels surveyed said that occupancy for the holiday weekend was better than last year, the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association said.

"Most of the East End's business is very heavy on the weekends but a lot of folks apparently turned the holiday into a five-day weekend," Moke McGowan, president of the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, said.

"A lot of folks were initially worried because the Fourth of July was middle of the week, but what they saw was one of the best travel weekends in a long time."

Popular East End hot spots such as Gurney's Inn reported 100 percent occupancy rates this year throughout the week of the Fourth, compared to slightly lower rates of 98 percent during last year's holiday weekend.

"What we saw was that the entire week was sold out; they really partied here in Montauk," Ingrid Lemme, marketing director at Gurney's, said.

"There's been a tremendous demand to get away to enjoy, especially from folks within a 150-mile drive radius, and I think they acted on that," McGowan said. "Certainly the weather helped, but I think that first desire to get away for a little more of an extended period was the real driver."

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