PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — We’ve now entered the spring break period, the busiest time of year for the Tampa Bay tourism industry, and local businesses are counting on it more than ever.
One of those businesses is the Sea Palms Motel and Polynesian Putter, which has been around for more than 49 years, giving tourists a place to sleep, swim, and make memories at the miniature golf course.
Ralph Ostroskski, the owner of the family-run business tells 8 On Your Side that 2020 was the worst year they’ve ever had, and that the business and others around them will need a big boost to survive.
Business at the Polynesian Putter was down 50% to 60% percent last year, but the owner says things are picking up. They’re only down 30% to 40% from last year.
“If we don’t get anything for this season the fall is going to be hurting…Fall is when we’re slow,” said Ostroskski. “Everybody’s lifestyle changed. The vacation money is not really there to go have fun.”
Many of these businesses tell 8 On Your Side they’re focusing on protecting customers from COVID-19 by requiring masks, social distancing, and disinfecting throughout the day.