Hobe Sound business owners say 'season' started early

HOBE SOUND, Fla. - Several businesses along the Treasure Coast say the 'season' has arrived a few weeks early.

And this year snowbirds have more than one reason to head south.

"The past 12 days have been absolutely incredible," said Craig Kingston, owner of 'Taste' restaurant in Hobe Sound.

He says season for him arrived about two or three weeks early this year, during election week.

"A few maybe came down because of the voting situation, they wanted to vote in the town they were registered in," said Kingston.

"Maybe the weather and maybe Sandy brought them down," he added.

Just down the road, the owners of 'Chuckles,' a used book store and furniture shop, say many of their snowbird customers have already stopped in to say they're back.

And even 'Harry and the Natives,' a restaurant that has seen 60 years of ups and downs, noticed more snowbirds in town.

"This year we saw the influx right after Sandy," said owner Harry MacArthur.

On the flip side, one retirement community in town, Eaglewood, says some snowbirds have actually gone back up north to tend to their homes.

The tourism folks in Martin and Palm Beach counties do not have hard numbers yet, showing this year's trends.

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