COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - Businesses in Collier County are gearing up for what they hope will be a booming Fourth of July weekend. With the holiday falling on a Thursday, business owners have big expectations for the next few days.
They say if June is any indication of how the summer tourism season is going, the Fourth of July weekend should bring fireworks rain or shine.
Flags flying on 5th Avenue South can only mean the Fourth of July weekend is here. A parade and fireworks at the Naples Pier are guaranteed to bring thousands of locals and tourists to downtown Naples.
"It's looking really really promising. Hopefully the rain holds off. That would be nice, but we have good books," says Rick Rinella, Managing Partner of Trulucks, where he says they've had the best June in years.
"I'm actually calling staff in rather than telling them to stay home, so it's pretty exciting," says Rinella.
For those visiting, the wet weather has put a slight damper on their summer tans. "It's not so nice out, but it's okay," says Katrin Elle, visiting from Germany. "We have time so we can do everything we want. We're not always lying on the beach so there are other things to see."
But less time in the sun and sand means more time shopping in stores. "It's their holiday now and so we're getting a lot of Canadians, a lot of Europeans, a lot of families coming in. It's almost getting to the point where we don't have such an off season anymore," says Blue Mussel owner Larry Liss.
And with the Fourth falling on a Thursday this year, business owners are hopeful the holiday will turn into a long and profitable weekend. "I think because it's falling on a Thursday, Friday will be strong, Saturday will be strong," says Rinella. "We're banking for a really good weekend."
This year's 2013 Fourth of July parade starts at 10:00 AM. The lineup/route will begin on Broad Ave S, and will continue to 3rd St S, to 5th Ave S, ending on 8th Street S.