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Fort Myers Beach packed for holiday weekend

Packed beaches are exciting for businesses, especially since the pandemic has made it difficult for them. People from out of town were out on Fort Myers Beach Saturday enjoying the weather and the lighter COVID-19 restrictions.

Danielle Chastaine is from Indiana. “This beach is unbelievable!”

Michael Schmitz didn’t have to travel as far, since he came up from Bonita Springs. “We probably spent about the last hour backed up in traffic before we got up here, coming from Bonita,” Schmitz said.

Joleen Dearing says, after working on Black Friday at h2o, she needed to get out and enjoy herself. “Very good yesterday, Friday, it was Black Friday we did very well. But today we did even more,” said Dearing.

Jolene says that after the pandemic, this weekend of relaxation was much needed. “Everybody was scared and now everybody is just like…they’re tired of it,” she said. “And they want to come down and spend money and we want them here to spend money!”

Shirley and Tom Glines from Minnesota say they prefer it here since everything is open. “We’re not sure we want to go home, the bars and restaurants in Minnesota are not open and we’d be pretty much stuck staying at home,” said Tom.

Riley Sharp and Talia Ellison are set to go back home to Illinois Monday night. But they plan to just get more clothes and come right back. “It’s so much better than life in Chicago right now,” said Sharp.

“Everything’s closed we have to eat outside it’s cold, and I have no problem eating outside here!” Ellison said.

Tourists are not completely escaping COVID-19 restrictions, however. There is a mask mandate in place on Fort Myers Beach so everyone is asked to wear masks inside businesses and social distance wherever possible.

Reporter:Rachel Cox-Rosen
Writer:Drew Hill
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