Despite rain, business and fireworks may boom on beaches

2:30 PM, Jul 2, 2013   |    comments
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MADEIRA BEACH, Florida -- Many beachside businesses are looking to weather forecasts to forecast their own sales for this Fourth of July weekend.

Some, like Dockside Dave's owner and team member Carol Bates, have been worried that rain could put a damper on their holiday uptick.

"I said, 'Uh oh, what's going to happen here? Is [the rain] just for today?' Then I put on the news and I'm like, 'Oh my God, this is going to be like this all week,'" Bates recalls.

But a brief break from stormy skies brings hope of fireworks -- and business -- booming on Independence Day.

"We are gearing up with grouper. The only thing that's not cooperating is the weather," she says.

That's why the Madeira Beach restaurant is bringing in brand new outdoor tents and shades that they're never tried before so they can reign in customers out of the rain.

A few minutes north on Gulf Boulevard, at Hotel Isis in Redington Shores, people have already made reservations for next Fourth of July, no matter what the weather.

Manager Karrie Gilson says the hotel saw a couple of cancellations for the holiday, but the empty rooms were snatched up almost immediately. There is no vacancy at the hotel through the entire weekend.
Rainfall won't make visitors' hopes fall. After all, they say, they can have quality time with loved ones, rain or shine.

"We just pull out our ponchos," says Louise Burkhardt, who's visiting the beaches from Tennessee. "It would be nice to swim or hang out at the beach, but we've gone fishing quite a bit, and we're spending time with family."

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