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Palm Beach County tourism industry gets creative for Thanksgiving weekend

Heavy surf at Lake Worth Beach pier
Posted at 5:12 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 18:24:47-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Holiday tourism is going to look a lot different this year. That's why Discover the Palm Beaches is working to promote small businesses.

Whether it’s bagged or served hot, at Alaina’s Cafe in Palm Beach Gardens business is good.

Alaina and her sister Carlina run the day-to-day operations.

“We originally opened in 2012," said Alaina Witherell, co-owner of Alaina's Cafe.

Since then they’ve expanded their operations, then the COVID-19 pandemic set them back.

"We did curbsides, we offered to-gos, whatever people needed we were here from them to do whatever we possibly could do," Witherell said.

After getting support from loyal customers now they are giving thanks by offering a $25 three-course Thanksgiving meal.

"We've been advertising that we are doing this prefixed meal. It's very easy. All you have to do is pick it up, put it right in your oven and serve it," said Carlina Murgio, manager of Alaina’s Cafe.

They're not the only business adjusting in the pandemic. The Eau Palm Beach is expanding Thanksgiving dinner services to their oceanfront cabanas, allowing for more social distancing.

"It's been a slow trend but we are seeing signs of growth," said Gina Kramer, the public relations manager at Discover the Palm Beaches. "We recently wrapped up October at nearly 45% occupancy."

A 30% drop compared to last year. Still, Kramer said safety remains the destination’s focus.

"It's remaining nimble, remaining flexible and it's just continuing to emphasize health and safety and making sure we are not only meeting, but exceeding expectations," Kramer said.