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Sanibel businesses eye bounce-back after Irma

Posted at 10:41 PM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 22:41:13-04

Local Sanibel businesses are optimistic their community -- and tourism -- will bounce back after Hurricane Irma.

Only a few restaurants were open a week and a half after the storm hit. 

“There is still quite a few places that aren’t open during this trip,” said Mike Forgey, as his family settled into dinner. 

The Forgey family were relieved they found one of three restaurants open in Captiva.

“The Bubble room is one that we called and we came when they said, ‘We’re open’,” he said.

Doc Ford’s on Sanibel was also busy on the phone lines.

“We got tons of phone calls asking if we were open,” said Katy Forret, the manager at Doc Ford’s.

The restaurant staff feels fortunate to be back in business after Irma.

“People needed some place to go,” said Forret. “They are hot and sweaty and need somewhere to sit down and cool off and be together,” she added.

The storm left plenty of downed debris along Periwinkle Way, but Irma didn't break the island's spirit.

“I think there is no place like Sanibel and Captiva,” said Forgey. “The spirit of the island is alive and well. This is one of those instances where they will recover and come back as strong as ever,” he added.

Businesses are confident Sanibel and Captiva will bounce back just in time for season.

“There’s less tourism on the island in September, so you don’t have as great of a loss as you would in March or April,” said Forret.