The coronavirus pandemic continues to take a bite out of South Florida’s tourism sector, with staples on famed South Beach closing their doors.
The Clevelander Hotel has temporally shuttered its restaurant, bar and hotel, saying it can’t ensure the safety of guests and employees.
Mango's Tropical Cafe, another beach hotspot, is also shuttered, with a sign outside reading the club will reopen when the pandemic is over.
The owner of South Beach Rooms and Hostel says the businesses is off by about 40%.
“In a worst-case scenario, we will have to reinvent ourselves and figure out something else,” Canales said. “It’s part of business, being prepared for the worst but hoping for the best.”
Much of Miami-Dade’s hotel sector continues to suffer, with many industry employees, from Sunny Isles Beach to South Beach, hoping that by now COVID-19 numbers would have flattened enough to bring back tourists in substantial numbers.
But that’s not the case.
Tourism officials are urging South Floridians to entertain themselves locally.
“There are some amazing deals to be had for those that are risk tolerant,“ said Rolando Aedo, Chief Operating Officer with the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Hotels are bending over backwards to attract business.”
There are some revelers still coming to South Florida despite the spike in COVID-19 numbers. And they’re taking advantage of low airfares and a quieter Miami Beach.
“As far as going out wise, we took food to-go, we’ll probably go back to our Airbnb. We already had it set in stone of how we were going to maneuver,” said Quadrelle Harris, who was visiting Miami from Philadelphia.
“I am definitely wearing my mask, and buying hand sanitizer, I got my wipes,” said Harris’s traveling partner Khaiya Griffin. “I can’t live my life in fear.”