Tourism officials say 2013-14 season could be the best for Palm Beach County since 2004

Hotel managers say they're 'booked solid'

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - The unusually bitter winter up north is helping to boost tourism in South Florida. As people jump to escape from the cold, hotels and restaurants are filling up in places like Delray Beach.

Fresh out of the frigid north, the first thing Mitchell Rieders from New York wanted to do was hit the beach.

"When I left my house this morning it was 10 degrees and breezy, I was so happy I was coming to Florida for the weekend," said Rieders.

Rieders like thousands of others, is tired of the cold. Frustration like his is firing up business at Delray hotels and restaurants.

"We're sold out, it is season but in the hospitality industry the last couple years season hasn't been season."

Gregg Maliff says they're also booked during the week with people desperately trying to extend their vacation.
Rieders already has plans to prolong his stay.

"It's already supposed to snow Monday so Monday might not happen, it might be Tuesday or Wednesday."

His friend Jeffrey is flying back to New York Friday night, and he admits he isn't ready.

"Are you prepared mentally? No, not at all. My wife says prepare for frigid weather," said Jeffrey Lubitz.

Discover Palm Beach says this season is shaping up to be the best since 2004, and it's not over yet.

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