Season may look different for hotels in Collier County this year

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
fifth avenue naples
Credit: WINK News

The last two weeks of February are normally the busiest time of year for hotel bookings. But will rooms in Collier County actually be filled this year due to the pandemic? Hotels are doing their best to make sure people are still booking.

Joanna Manning and her two daughters are from Los Angeles and enjoy staying with their relatives in Naples.

“We keep it pretty close to home, we’re playing it safe, ” said Manning.

Lately, that’s meant being farther away from popular spots like Fifth Avenue.

“We thought it was really busy over Christmas,” Manning said. “Then it got quieter and this week it seems to have gotten busy again.”

More traffic is on the roadways. More people are dining out. And, if you are trying to book a hotel within the next couple of weeks, you’re looking at some of the highest prices of the season.

Phil McCabe owns the Inn on Fifth. “The last two weeks of February, we’re typically 100 percent every day of the week,” he said.

This year, although numbers are down considerably at hotels such as the Inn on Fifth, “We don’t have Europe at all. Zero from Europe. Essentially zero from Canada…zero groups, right?” McCabe said.

Nevertheless, McCabe says the peak of season has their phones ringing off the hook for rooms.

“We’re booked for many of the days,” he said.

Restaurants like EJ’s Cafe has their table full of visitors. Eric Becker is the owner of EJ’s Cafe.

“If we had to rely on just straight year-round local people who live here it would be a challenge just because of the abundance of businesses that are here,” Becker said.

They’re enjoying every minute of this February business boost.

Without the usually high number of international and out-of-state visitors this month, some businesses in the tourism industry are spending more on Marketing on the East Coast, despite coronavirus concerns.

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