Business booming at Southwest Florida beaches

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
Businesses on Fort Myers Beach say business is way up. (Credit: WINK News)

After months of closures, businesses at the beach are booming and hot temperatures this week are helping their cause.

A busy beach means busy hotels, shops and restaurants.

Ryan Nagle, general manager at Shuckers and the Cottage Bar on Fort Myers Beach, said business is good thanks to the state’s reopening and people’s need to get away.

“We did not expect this, not at all. I don’t think anybody could’ve expected anything like this,” he said.

“We are up about 20 percent over last year, week over week in sales have been excellent. It’s almost been difficult to keep up at some points but it’s a good problem to have.”

Julio Figueredo, general manager of Felipe’s Taqueria, said something similar.

“We were definitely not expecting it to be this good so quickly but it’s been a blessing.”

A blessing thanks to and because of people like Monica Vanderhorst, who’s visiting from Ohio.

“We usually come in March and I’m a school teacher, and after 10 weeks of having that at school, I needed a break so I brought a friend with me and we are just enjoying Fort Myers Beach,” she said.

“People are definitely trying to get it in while they can it feels like,” Nagle said.

“Now that they have some time off from whatever their work is in, they’re coming over here to spend some days and enjoy themselves,” Figueredo said.

There’s hope for these beach businesses, despite the headlines.

“It’s a bittersweet situation with everything that has happened and what is still going on but we are very happy to be back to work,” Nagle said.

Both managers want to stay at work, so they say they’re operating at 50 percent capacity and following CDC guidelines to the letter. The Cottage even brought in extra security to ensure people are social distancing.

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