"There's no parking here. There's a lot of people on the beach, but nowhere to park," he said.
"I did have a lot people asking me for change," said Michelle Melendez of the Art of Living store on Forest Ave.
She also commented on the high volume of walk-through traffic, saying sales were "OK."
"July brought a whole bunch of people into town, but they were filling trash containers at Main Beach, not cash registers," said George Nelson, owner of Fawn Memories on Forest Ave.
Nelson was one of the few merchants who reported an increase over 2005 summer sales.
"You have to remember that last year there was about a 25% increase over 2004," Nelson said.
The 2005 bump was attributed in large part to the MTV reality TV show starring Laguna Beach teenagers.
Whatever is drawing people to Laguna Beach, the numbers tell the story.
City Manager Ken Frank said the total ridership for the summer trolley service this year was the highest ever — 374,000 passengers.
"This is a 6.5% increase over the prior season, and is the 14th season in a row that ridership has increased over the prior year," Frank said.
Despite the large number of visitors, all three of Laguna's art festivals reported ticket sales were off in July.
"Fortunately, we rebounded in August," said Sharbie Higuchi, Festival of Arts marketing and public relations director.
The sold-out Pageant of the Masters is included in the total gate, which was down less than 2% from last year.
"I am very pleased," Higuchi said. "We were much further down in July, but we rebounded in August."
Gift shop sales at the Festival of Arts were up almost 11% over last year. No figures were available for art sales.
"We do not monitor art sales," Higuchi said. "As a show we have heard that some people did well and some didn't, but that's what happens every year."
Festival board member and exhibitor Carolyn Reynolds was among those who had a good summer, but she too had heard that other artists did not fare so well.