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Tourism looking up for Palm Beach County

'I wanted to come out see family, come visit paradise,' one man said
Posted at 9:45 PM, Sep 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 23:19:41-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Colton Crabb traveled to Florida for a week of vacation.

"I wanted to come out see family, come visit paradise, and get my feet wet," he said.

Meeting Colton and his family in Florida are Alex Fancher and his family. They traveled from New Mexico.

"We booked the trip probably last month," he said.

Both families said the rise in COVID-19 cases did not deter them from vacationing in Florida.

"Not worried at all," Fancher said.

Crabb agreed.

"Not at all, not at all," he said.

Discover the Palm Beaches, the tourism marketing organization for Palm Beach County said both July and August tourism numbers are on par with 2019, a record year.

Tourism officials said hotel occupancy tells a similar story with July and August numbers expected to be well above 60%.

They said this Labor Day weekend could bring occupancies as high as 70% at a time numbers typically start to drop off.

Willie Ceasar owns Ceasars World Famous Ribs in Delray Beach. He's seen the ups and downs of the pandemic and said right now things are picking up.

The customers are there right now.

"It started last week, Saturday when we first started out the whole parking lot was full. We had cars down the street waiting to get in," he said.

Ceasar said Labor Day weekend will be no different.

"We expect a big crowd. We expect to be busy. We've been getting pre-orders and phone calls. So we're looking forward, starting tomorrow to be swamped," he said.

Ceasar said they've decided to open on Monday, something they typically don't do to fill every order.