Businesses slowly bounce back after 2018 red tide crisis

Red Tide Nearly "Undetectable"

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WWSB) - 2019 is off to a good start for Anna Maria Island’s Bungalow Beach resort.

“The phones are ringing off the hook, we’re getting tons of walk-ins. It’s been fantastic,” said manager Cory Huffman.

It’s big difference from 2018 when the resort was bombarded with cancellations. Now, beach goers can step foot in the clear blue water, while taking in the calming views and breathing in the fresh air, since red tide levels are at their lowest in months.

“The guests are much happier. There’s no cancellations virtually,” explained Huffman.

Florida Fish and Wildlife’s red tide report released Thursday shows Sarasota and Manatee County waters are clear of red tide with the exception of Longboat Pass, where there are background concentrations.

“It’s 100% better than it was. we’re very fortunate,” said one Anna Maria Island resident. “Hopefully it’s going to be over now.”

Scientists say those background concentrations won’t cause respiratory issues or kill sea life. After a dip in sales last year, barrier-island businesses hope customers will “seas the day.”

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