CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Cape Coral Yacht Club beach is at a standstill, as it's still shutoff to swimmers. A swimming advisory has been in place for weeks now, after the Health Department's water tests showed dirty results. But now, beach side businesses are seeing profits wash away in the mix.
Betty Serrago's waterfront restaurant is riding out the slow season. But with Cape Coral Yacht Club beach shutdown, Labor Day's annual spike in sales at KC's Riverstop turned out to be more of a slump.
"That's like your last hurrah. Everybody's out, and everybody's playing, so this year it wasn't like that here," Serrago said Tuesday.
The local favorite is weathering some of the toughest times in it's 17 years. The Health Department posted a swimming advisory at the beach two weeks ago, after unusually high levels of bacteria showed up in some water samples. Ever since, sales have gone south.
"It kills it. I mean not only the food vendors, but the hotels. If you hear the waters going to be closed for the next week or two, why even come down?" said Cape Coral resident Bob Raughley.
It's a problem Serrago says surfaces everyday, as tourists are welcomed to the waterfront by yellow signs warning of the water conditions.
"A bunch of people came off a boat, they get all their stuff, they go to the beach, they come back and ask, where is the nearest beach. I went, 'oh Fort Myers', and they went 'oh'," Serrago said.
The Health Department re-tested waters at Cape Coral Yacht Club on Tuesday, offering a glimpse of hope to those riding out the financial storm.
"I'm hoping the beach is going to open up. That's all. Let's open it back up and get back to business as usual," Serrago said.
The latest water sample results are expected to be released Wednesday afternoon.