OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ)– Maryland’s most popular beach resort is gearing up for a flood of tourists.

Gigi Barnett reports the unofficial start of summer means big business for Ocean City.

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Nine out of 10 travelers will go by car this holiday weekend and some of them are Ocean City bound. AAA says one reason this weekend is a good time to travel is low gas prices.

At the start of the holiday weekend, Ocean City beckons.

“This is beautiful! This is perfect!”

And that’s just what the city expects over the next three days. There’s a combination of favorable factors that would lure customers and cash for the Boardwalk.

“We work all year long to make sure we’re prepared for the summer, prepared for Memorial Day weekend,” Rick Meehan, mayor of Ocean City, said. “So we’re geared up to have a big year. With a little luck from the weather, I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

According to AAA, 89 percent of travelers hit the road this weekend. It’s a good thing gas prices are lower this month than last month.

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“We paid $3.49, much better than a week before,” said one traveler.

“I don’t know how much worse it can get but it can only get better, hopefully,” said another.

Add to that a slightly improving economy.

“We had a big weekend last weekend with the Cruisers and hopefully this weekend will be as big as that,” one business owner in Ocean City said. “That was a phenomenal weekend, actually.”

A sun-shiny weather forecast and predictions for a prosperous summer are as bright as the forecast.

“You want good weather. You want to be able to go out to enjoy the sights,” said one person.

Police have a warning for drivers this weekend: Slow down and keep the cell phones away.

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Though this is the start of the season, the July 4 holiday attracts the largest crowd to Ocean City.