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Larry Blustein


The 'season' is going strong


By Larry Blustein
sfsuntimes@aol.com
There’s a rumor going around that the tourist season is over. That may not be accurate.

“Who said that?” challenged Hollywood Beach hotel owner Bert Tabor. “We are just at the end of March, and we are still booked, and the roads are still crowded. That to me, is not over.”

While everyone knows that the season, as we know it, today is certainly not what it was back in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s, but the one thing that will always keep us in the game, is the weather.

Once again this year, Miami-Dade and Broward went under 50 degrees just four times since December – and never once under 40. Those temperatures will always keep the flow of visitors coming throughout the winter months.

“I have been in this community for 55 years and will tell you that things changed with the economy,” Rene Curran of Hallandale Beach said. “Sure, times are difficult for some, but the great weather we have – along with beaches and destinations such as top restaurants and our pari-mutuels, will always keep the tourists coming and many even moving down here year round.”

If the tourist season is down over years past, it isn’t just in our area. The economy is still nowhere near stable, and that has many skipping the trip to South Florida. But, that is more of a short term situation and not something that will shake things up. Many strive to save money to head south to have the chance - even if it’s for a few days or a week - to walk around in shorts and a t-shirt.

But still, there are businesses that are looking for that piece of the competitive slice of the pie that November through late April brings. Look around you and you will see how many area destinations become creative and offer specials that not only attract visitors, but locals as well.

Maria Lopez is one of those small business owners who agrees that we are still a month or so away from the season winding down. She insists that you can still see license plates from not only Canada, but several others from the United States that would never be anywhere else, but South Florida.

“When my husband and I bought our travel business three decades ago, things were different,” Lopez said. “We have taken our business to the next level - and by reaching out to people worldwide, using Easter and Passover helps us promote the fact, that our season is NOT over.”

Florida Derby Is The Highlight of The Spring
With marquee events like the Florida Derby and a major tennis tournament still ahead, nobody is in a hurry to go back to digging out of the snowstorms.

There's nothing like being at the Florida Derby! A true spectacle on and off the track, the Florida Derby is the place to see and be seen for the fans and the horse racing community. Rub elbows with celebrities, television and film personalities, as well as the industrie’s top horse owners, trainers and jockeys in a week long celebration.

The biggest race day of the year in South Florida, the Florida Derby, which will be held on Saturday, April 1, is a showcase of the world's best horses and jockeys, who all are competing for the coveted title of Florida Derby Winner on their road to the Triple Crown.