|Published:||Oct 26, 2012 10:49 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 27, 2012 12:18 AM EDT|
NAPLES, Fla - Hurricane Sandy is far from Southwest Florida, but the storm is still impacting businesses in Naples and snowbirds here are starting to worry about damage to their homes up north.
Friday, it was business as usual on 5th Avenue in Naples with busy streets and full restaurants, but some local hotels say Hurricane Sandy isn't bringing in extra business. In fact, the storm is taking a swipe at their bottom line.
Phillip and Betty Ayoub enjoyed a walk along 5th Avenue Friday afternoon, but the snowbirds have a lot on their mind as Hurricane Sandy approaches their Rhode Island home.
"We have family up in the area. We have sisters, brothers, nieces, children, so we're very concerned," says Betty Ayoub.
That worry over Hurricane Sandy has also caused unexpected cancellations at the Naples Ramada Inn on US 41.
"People hear Florida and they hear hurricane and unfortunately some people thought the whole state was affected and we had cancellations and date changes and that type of thing," says Ramada General Manager Robert Partlow.
Partlow estimates 10 to 20 groups backed out of their weekend plans despite the sunny skies and calm winds Friday afternoon.
"I had someone who booked online and the online travel agent called us up and said the people wanted to cancel because of the hurricane and I said, what hurricane?"
Meanwhile Phillip and Betty have been in direct contact with their son who is securing their Rhode Island home while they wait and watch Sandy's path from Southwest Florida.
"We're not sure what is going to happen," says Betty Ayoub. "They're saying it's going to be a major monster storm so that's a little frightening."
Hurricane Sandy also impacted a local high school football game Friday night. Naples High School was supposed to host North Miami Beach High School but Miami Dade Public Schools canceled all athletic events because of the storm.
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