Record tourist numbers for Palm Beach County

When the economy wasn't as hot, Brittani Kaltman still loved coming to Florida.
 
"It's always fun and popping," the New Jersey native said.
 
But it was only once a year, not twice, like now.
 
"Tickets for airlines were skyrocketing, so we couldn't come down," said Kaltman.
 
Restaurants and hotels say she's not the only one who's visiting more.
 
"It's been a really good season, we have very few rooms, maybe four or five," said Cathy Balestriere, the manager at Crane's Beach House.
 
Balestriere says for the first time in five years, they're booked almost solid for February, four months in advance.
 
October rooms sold, were up by half.
 
"They're staying longer, they're booking out further," she said.
 
Countywide, room occupancy in 2013 is at 72 percent, up six percent since last year, the highest growth in the state.
 
The average of $104 hotels get for a room is up ten percent since last year.
 
The number that the CVB is most proud of though this year, is the fact that they're on track to beat last year's record-setting number of 5.5 million visitors to Palm Beach County.
 
They say this year, they're on track to set a new record of six million.
 
Cafe Luna Rosa on A1A says busy hotels mean they're busier.
 
They're also up ten percent, year over year.
 
"What I've had to do is add a couple of staff members. Some prep people, another line cook, another dishwasher, just to accommodate us," said chef Ernesto DiBlasi.
 
The Kaltmans say they've had more to spend on nights out like this at Prime Steakhouse.
 
A hotel, a restaurant, a waiter are all seeing the impact of a beefier tourist season.
 
"I have friends that have been out of work. Chefs, peers of mine, a lot of them are getting jobs now. They're finding places, they're finding homes," said DiBlasi.
 
The Convention and Visitors Bureau says that this is the 45th straight month of growth in the prices of hotel rooms.
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