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Colder temperatures and red tide levels may have an affect on snowbird season

Posted at 6:58 PM, Nov 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 10:11:34-05

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Today we saw some of the coolest temperatures since last spring.

There have been concerns that the cold weather and higher red tide levels could be bad for businesses.

Fox 4 spoke to tourists and local business owners who say that this may not have been the case out on Fort Myers beach.

Head chef at Mojoes Coffee Cafe says he excited about the season and hasn’t seen a decline in tourism over the last couple weeks.

“It seems to not be affecting anybody tourism wise. Colder temps aren’t keeping people away. Of course, its a lot colder up north, so this is nothing,” said Keith Schambelan.

We spoke to a group of visitors who came into town on a girl’s trip, expecting to escape the cold in sunny Southwest Florida, but with today’s low of fifty-five degrees, their plans have changed.

Mary Pritchard says today they will, “wonder and go to the stores, and have a drink outside... go to the restaurants and shops.”

The manager of Yucatan Beachstand Bar & Grill says that surprisingly, the red tide levels and low temps have prompted people to come into the restaurant.

“There’s nothing else to do, so come out and eat and drink. Everybody comes in carries on and has a good time,” says Jill Eby.

Local businesses say even changed their menus and offered specials to ensure people are still supporting the beach economy.

“We’ve had soup and sandwich specials like grill cheese and Maryland crab soup,” said Dyana Imhof

“Hopefully, that will make up for some of the things that we can control around here like red tide and the cooler temperatures,” said Eby.

Fox 4 saw tons of people bundled up in their jackets on the beach today, but the weather and high red tide levels didn’t seem to stop any of the fun.

We will continue to follow how weather changes might affect the snowbird season and the economy in the long run.