Writer: Joshua Andino
2 min read August 2021 — While summer may be coming to a close and slightly cooler winds have begun to blow through the state, eased restrictions and vaccine availability have made many comfortable, or at least cautiously optimistic, when it comes to travel and leisure this Labor Day.
Local festivals, outdoor dining and air travel have all returned to the Sunshine State, bringing with them increased economic activity and a greater sense of well-being for many who call Florida home. With travel itineraries planned and tickets, either to concerts or on airlines, already booked, many of the local business leaders Invest: spoke with are looking forward to a relaxed, enjoyable Labor day weekend.
Ramsay Bulkeley, Executive Director, PBC Planning Zoning & Building Department
Everyone is gathering again, be it at the pool or the park. There just seems to be a lot more activity. There is a ton more outdoor dining. People seem way more comfortable eating outdoors. We’ve granted special permits to a bunch of restaurants to take up a couple of spots on the street and provide that outdoor space. We have not seen them take that away yet. You would think that with the summer being here, they would have disappeared but they keep going strong.
Antonio L. Argiz, South Florida Managing Partner, BDO USA, LLP
Compared to last Labor Day, it seems like people are more open and comfortable with traveling. I am definitely looking forward to safely traveling this year.
Donald Burgess, President & CEO, Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches
I run. I cycle. I play tennis. I live near one of the county parks. When I went to the park in May of last year, I was surprised to find it closed. I’m just happy to personally be able to be out there and doing the things that I love to do. Although we have numbers increasing in the hospitals, I’m grateful that we are past the point of feeling like a prisoner. I see people enjoying themselves, and that’s a good thing. I’m looking forward to the return of SunFest because we’ve gone two years without it, and that’s a major economic driver for us. The signs are positive and if we continue to be responsible, things will continue to get better.
Glenn Jergensen, Executive Director, Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council
I’m excited to get out more. We’ll be able to say, “We’re back.” We also assisted in GBAC certification for our hotel properties, the PBC Convention Center and Palm Beach International Airport. We want our visitors to Palm Beach County to know we care about them.
Antony Page, Dean & FIU Foundation Professor of Law, FIU College of Law
I just got back from my first trip in a year and a half: a family vacation to California. It was so much fun. We’re fully vaccinated so I suppose we’re as safe as we can be but on the other hand, even if our risks are much lower, I still don’t want to be hospitalized, lose my sense of taste or be sick. We’re taking it day by day, being cautiously optimistic and responsible, looking at the situation and enjoying those opportunities we’re able to take. But I’m not going to be in a mosh pit anytime soon.
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