Memorial Day

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So much meaning…

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May whose purpose is to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the United States military.

Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer. Ask any kid. In a good year, school is out by Memorial Day and the three-day weekend is the first outdoor weekend with picnics, parades and that first day of pool fun.

Memorial Day in Fort Myers Beach this year is a glimpse of our future. Will visitors fill our businesses? Will our Island employees take home enough pay to cover the rent? This first holiday weekend with hotels & resorts open, restaurants now at 50% indoor capacity and vacation rentals open will surely be viewed as a test. How will we do?

Our two month dance with COVID-19 has impacted all three meanings of the holiday as traditional Memorial Day gatherings have been cancelled and the start of summer just doesn’t have the same oomph when you haven’t been in a classroom for two months.

Business owners are anxious to see how this weekend goes. A good weekend won’t wipe out the last two months, nor will it refill those bank accounts that have been drained. But it might offer some hope that our economy is headed in the right direction; hope that we can open up the economy and follow CDC safety guidelines at the same time.

Our businesses are doing a great job of letting customers know what they are doing to make it safe to patronize their business. Keep it up!

Island businesses know by now that the key to a healthy beach economy isn’t whether any government agency says it’s ok to open, it’s whether customers feel comfortable coming out and patronizing a business and being around other people.

Those that don’t feel safe out and about in public for whatever reason are going to stay at home. Those that believe there’s no health risk would be out no matter what any guidelines recommend.

In the middle are thousands of potential customers. They miss going out to dinner and shopping. They are bone-tired of staying home, but are a bit nervous about going out and, following CDC guidelines, may opt to wear a mask. Let’s make wearing a mask just another personal choice and not a political statement. Let’s thank them for coming out!

Let’s welcome everyone back to Fort Myers Beach this holiday weekend!