South Florida hotels say springtime business is booming after a slow winter

South Florida hotels say springtime business is booming after a slow winter

Easter marks the end of Season in South Florida, but hotel managers say Palm Beach County could continue to see an influx of visitors through April.

Discover the Palm Beaches reports the year got off to a slow start, with hotel occupancy rates down in January and February. In March, however, local businesses report the tourism market is picking back up.

"We might have been off to a slow start because it was so warm up north," said Kami Kreaps, manager of the Downtown West Palm Beach Visitor Information Center, "But we really see everyone sort of pouring in, in March."

Kreaps says in the past couple of weeks, she's watched the flow of visitor has return to normal, thanks to the boat show, spring training and spring break.

Managers of area resorts say they also felt the effects of a warm winter.

"It was 70 degrees here, 70 degrees up north," said Roger Amidon General Manager of the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort. "People didn't mind canceling their reservations."

Amidon says the slow winter is actually helping his hotel now that it's spring. He says that because many people decided to stay home in January and February, now, they're all coming at once for spring trips to the beach.

"People, I think, have pent up demand," he said. "We are sitting here, at this beautiful resort, 100-percent full."

That's an occupancy rate Amidon says is out of the usual, even during spring break. And while the number of hotel bookings in South Florida usually tapers off after Easter, Amidon says this year he expects to stay just as busy next month as he's been this month.

"Our occupancy rates in April are through the roof," he said.

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