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University spring break cancellations come as letdown to Fort Myers Beach businesses

Universities in Florida are already making the announcement to cancel spring break 2021, and FGCU was one of the most recent in the state Friday.

FGCU’s announcement comes as a letdown for businesses hoping to rake in extra cash from students eager to unwind from the semester. It comes just days after our state allowed bars and restaurants to get back to full capacity.

We’ve heard mixed reactions from businesses on Fort Myers Beach. Some told us their businesses will take a hard hit without college students for spring break. Others say they don’t think it will impact them at all. But all of them said they hope to still see a good crowd on the island in the spring after missing out on business because of the virus last spring.

“We have thousands of people coming from all over the world, all over the country, people of all ages,” said Melissa Schneider, the marketing director for Lani Kai.

“Spring break around here is like our busiest time. That’s when we do the majority of our business,” said John Gant, an employee with Yo! Taco. “The sidewalks are packed. The streets and all the parking lots are packed. Businesses are full.”

After many businesses were forced to close during spring break this year, they hoped to see spring break traffic return to normal in 2021, but with some Florida colleges canceling spring break, some worry they will see a major dip in business.

“We didn’t even get to see it,” said Jacinta Ingream, the owner of Mango Rita’s.

“It’s strongly, strongly college influence during spring break,” Gant said. “I could see the whole town taking a hit if we don’t have a spring break for sure.”

But other hotels and businesses say they are confident they will still have a nice crowd throughout the spring, even without the college spring breakers. And they plan to make the best of every guest they get.

“I think vacation people are still going to vacation, and people are tired of other areas, and they are coming here to Florida,” Ingream said. “I don’t think that we are going to see an impact of decrease in business.”

Some businesses told us they are still hoping to see college students come to Fort Myers Beach for the weekends to take a break, even if there is no spring break.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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