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Local Businesses Prepare For Labor Day Business

Mika McBride is a bartender at La Ola in Fort Myers Beach. And despite their happy hour, there’s a good amount of empty seats…all a few days before Labor Day.

Beach businesses are concerned that red tide might mess with the usually holiday visitors.

“Right now it’s slow on the beach so I’m the only one here today,” McBride said. “This time of year it is slow regardless but the fact that people can’t go in the water – it’s even worse.”

The water is looking better, but beaches are still empty due to red tide.

“Red tide obviously. It’s killed us this season. It’s still bad in certain areas,” Melissa Mitchel at Sunset Beach said.

“We are struggling on the island. The businesses are struggling, the hospitality folks, our waitress our bartenders our servers our housekeepers and we’re concerned for them and we’re concerned for the businesses,” Jacki Liszak, President of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, said. “Come on down, we need you! Get out here! Come have some fun. The beach is beautiful, it’s clear, the weather is great and our music is still live and the drinks are cool so get out here!”

This weekend the town of Fort Myers is offering free parking and businesses are hoping things pick up.

“We have good times like today. The beach is beautiful; the water’s beautiful,” Mitchel said.

“For my friends and us here at this restaurant I hope that we’re packed and busy, and everyone’s sitting drinking margaritas and listening to our live entertainment and enjoying themselves regardless of the water,” McBride said.