NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An 11-block stretch of sand in Rockaway Beach is back in business after beach erosion shut it down last summer.

Pristine sand. A beautiful beach. Just in time for summer this Memorial Day weekend.

Rockaway Beach businesses hope for a big summer after an 11-block stretch reopens. (Credit: CBS2)

“We live here so for us coming back is always a real treat in the summer,” Anna Gottlieb said.

The city parks department closed the section between Beach 91st and Beach 102nd Streets right before Memorial Day weekend last summer, saying erosion from back-to-back storms in 2018 made it unsafe to keep open.

Rockaway Beach closed in 2018. (Credit: CBS2)

It was an even bigger bummer for area businesses.

“It was definitely a bummer for us it was tough,” Taylor Kerrigan from La Fruiteria said.

“The beach was closed, we were staring at a fence most of the days, there was no line,” Taylor Kerrigan added.

Thai Rock restaurant owner Robert Keskel told CBS2 it caused about a 10 to 15-percent decrease in sales for summer 2018.

“Maybe a little bit of that was the weather, but a lot of that is not the typical amount of people were coming out to the Rockaways because so much beach was closed down,” Keskel said.

“Coming into this summer I’m really struggling.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers worked all spring dredging 300,000 cubic yards of sand from the East Rockaway inlet and putting it onto the beach.

Keskel and others are hoping now that the beach is back open business will come back too.

“There’s a lot more sand and yeah we’re excited to see everyone and we’re ready.”

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