Orlando restaurants have high hopes for spring break


ORLANDO, Florida – The spring break is next week and local business owners and executives say the county could take advantage of the extra business after the pandemic hit central Florida’s economy hard.

However, the expected surge in business also raises concerns that COVID-19 cases are not skyrocketing.

High Tide Harry’s is the kind of place spring breakers would come to central Florida.

This year the tide has really turned in favor of the local fish eatery.

“Boy, business is booming! It’s up 20%, ”said Orlando restaurant owner Mike Heretick.

Heretick says locals came out to support them after his company lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to pandemic standstills and restrictions last year.

“The local crowd has volunteered for support. It was overwhelming, ”said Heretick.

And now he’s looking forward to the spring break next week.

Because Heretick says when tourists come here they want to visit local places.

“We need people in the theme parks because they come here, which is what we know. We need the hotels full and we know they will go to restaurants, ”he said.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings agrees, but says he also wants people to follow the county’s health guidelines when they come here.

“We invite, but at the same time we were able to reopen and reintegrate our stores, protect them and keep our numbers relatively low,” Demings said at a recent press conference.

AdventHealth’s Infection Control Officer, Dr. Vincent Hsu says there is good news for vaccinated spring breakers.

The CDC updated its guidelines this week to say people could gather in small groups as long as they all have the shot.

“And you don’t have to be social or you don’t have to wear a mask,” said Hsu.

But Hsu says that doesn’t mean people can afford to experience some sort of pre-pandemic spring break here.

“If you have just been vaccinated or not, their guide on large group activities, concerts, etc. is to avoid it,” he said.

As you walk into Harry’s Flood, you will see several signs that say stepping on masks is mandatory.

Although there are no capacity constraints, Heretick says his space still stays at 50%.

And while Heretick welcomes the tourists over the spring break, he says they don’t welcome anyone who doesn’t practice safe health practices.

“You can’t eat at High Tide Harry’s without a mask. You have the right to eat elsewhere, but not here, ”he said.

Demings says they will make full use of the county business compliance strike teams next week, but he says they will mainly focus on places that cater to nightly crowds. .


Janet Smith