SIESTA KEY, Fla. (WWSB) - Some good news for the Suncoast, businesses are getting back on track financially. Spring break is attracting thousands of Floridians and out-of-state visitors in the last few weeks.
With a smile behind his mask and a friendly hello, Jake Best greets every customer once they walk through the door of his ice cream shop. Business is not as usual at Siesta Creamery, it’s actually better than ever.
“It was definitely a wave of people and it was just this blessing,” said Best.
He saw a boom in his business especially in the last few weeks thanks to spring breakers.
“There was definitely a surge that positively affected businesses especially here on the Key,” he said.
Visit Sarasota reporting visitors flocking our Suncoast beaches during spring break, are the reason our local economy is thriving.
“We’ve certainly had a strong visitation, strong hotel rates, and occupancy,” said Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota.
Hotels are experiencing a 75 percent occupancy rate at an average of $206 dollars a night, according to Visit Sarasota. Also, in February, there were 123,300 visitors who stayed at hotels. Meanwhile, in Manatee County, the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is reporting an 81.1 percent occupancy rate in February, at an average of $199.87 a night.
“It is a little bit below the past years but definitely showing that strong recovery in the area,” said Haley.
Definitely progress after last year’s shut down, progress business owners are hoping to see all year round.
“We got to grow, hire a lot of people, double down our production,” he said.