While it’s always a relief to reach mid-May and notice that you can turn left without any hassle and go grocery shopping any time you want and grab your favorite seat at any of our watering holes, it’s also a bit of a shock to look around and wonder, “Where did all the people go?”
No matter how many years you live here or how many times you experience the packed house feeling of March, followed by the empty house feeling of May, those two extremes so close together are somewhat jarring.
We love our peak season, when we are filled to the brim with visitors, snowbirds, day visitors and family and friends come to visit. It’s what our Island does best – welcoming all comers to a beautiful, relaxing, sun-filled corner of paradise for whatever time they have to enjoy it, whether a couple weekend days or a week, a month or six months. We are glad to have them here.
We are also very cognizant of the financial importance of our visitors. Filling our hotel rooms, dining in our restaurants, enjoying a colorful cocktail from one of our talented bartenders, our local businesses need our busy season to survive. Some would be happy to trade our crazy – busy season for a little more business spread out all year long, but we don’t get to do that so we’ve all learned to enjoy the business that we have when we have it.
All that said, May is a month for taking a deep breath and maybe a day off, for some, the first in months. Everyone works hard during season. May brings us the chance to relax just a little bit.
Get out on the beach. Go fishing. Think about a stay-cation right here on our Island.
We know a lot of businesses are skittish about summer after our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad summer last year (with apologies to Judith Viorst and Alexander) We don’t know what summer will bring us water-quality-wise. Lake O has been lowered to allow more water storage, but not a whole lot else has been done that will make a difference this summer. Red Tide and Blue Green Algae are wild cards this summer. Meanwhile, many of our businesses are still recovering financially from last summer’s economic hit.
Which means that our local businesses need you more than ever. Now is the time to support local business. Patronize our locally-owned businesses as much as you can. Tip generously. Bring your friends to the beach for lunch or dinner or a night out. You know all those Lee County people who tell you they won’t come near the beach because of traffic. No better time than now to show them that beach traffic is not a problem from now through November.
Our bridges will soon be full of summer weekend visitors as we move into June. Our international visitors will be here also. And we’ll welcome them all to our Island with a smile! But for now, enjoy the breather that is May and…
Support local businesses!