Although Tropical Storm Hermine is threatening to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the state’s Big Bend region as early as Thursday, hoteliers in the storm’s path say they are hopeful it won’t put a damper on the busy Labor Day travel weekend.
Just days before the summer’s final holiday, hotel managers in Cedar Key in Levy County, which is located in the heart of the storm’s forecast track, said reservations remain strong.
Deana Lashley, the manager at the historic Island Hotel & Restaurant in Cedar Key, said rooms on Wednesday were filled with guests who want to watch the storm, which is expected make landfall late Thursday of early Friday morning.
The hotel and restaurant plan to remain open, regardless of the weather, Lashley said.
“I know everybody makes a big to do,” Lashley said. “We aren’t concerned honestly. We are going to get some wind and some water, but that is about it.”
Lashley said the hotel expects to be filled with Labor Day visitors on Saturday and Sunday.
At the nearby Harbour Master Suites, which overlooks the Gulf of Mexico, manager Leslie Landress said she is also planning for a busy weekend.
“We are booked all weekend starting Friday,” Landress said. “All of those guests are still coming in on Friday.”
The majority of the hotel’s rooms were booked on Wednesday by members of the media who were in town to cover the storm. In a precautionary move, Landress said local officials plan to turn off the water in the area where the hotel is located. As a result, the hotel will close while the storm passes, she said.
“You can not stay opened if you don’t have water,” she said.
Meanwhile, it appeared the storm has not impacted tourism in Palm Beach County.
Nick Gold, the public relations and marketing manager for the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa in Manalapan, said the resort has seen an uptick in bookings leading up to the holiday weekend. The resort still has limited availability, he added.
“We are open and we are looking to have a very busy Labor Day weekend,” Gold said.