Island fills up as holiday weekend approaches – 32963 Features, 32963 News
The frigid northern weather — combined with the fatigue caused by mask mandates and vaccination passports from big cities, and steep drops in COVID-19 infection rates here — have made Vero Beach a hot ticket this week. last, with the island practically booked for Presidents Day. weekend.
Local residents hoping to dine by the beach or host guests at an island hotel may be out of luck.
Reservations will be hard to come by on an island full of sun seekers. The weekend forecast for them was promising.
Chef Leanne Kelleher, owner of The Tides restaurant on Cardinal Drive, said she entertained record numbers of diners and she doesn’t see things slowing down as winter turns into spring.
“We are busier than ever. We were full through the month of February and every weekend and most weekdays in March,” she said. “Easter is almost sold out and Mother’s Day is also filling up.
“At this point, we’re thrilled and happy to report that The Tides is the busiest we’ve been in 22 years, and we love the continued support from all of our loyal customers and meeting all of our new friends from across the country as fine,” Kelleher said.
General Manager Chad Olson sees the same kind of traffic at the Costa d’Este hotel. “We expect full capacity all weekend,” he said.
Vero’s barrier island and the county’s 22 miles of uncrowded beaches have long served as a welcoming haven both for northerners descending for a week on shore or returning from South Florida to escape the concrete jungle for a romantic weekend.
Previously, visitors during the season would come and go, but there hasn’t been much of a break this year, Olson said. “Presidents’ Day weekend is always the ‘kick-starter’ of the season – not that we’ve really slowed down.”
The Vero Beach Hotel and Spa has also hosted a mix of Floridians and guests from the northeast, according to general manager Awet Sium.
“We are sold out this weekend, and all of our weekends in February,” Sium said. “It’s a good time to be in Florida.”
Boris Gonzalez, owner of the Caribbean Court Boutique Hotel on Vero’s South Beach, said he expects to have a full house with guests “from everywhere.”
“It’s the best season we’ve ever had,” Gonzalez said. He added that many of his rooms are booked until mid-April.