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Large events bringing in much needed tourism to coastal communities

Posted at 3:57 AM, Jul 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-04 11:20:54-04

APALACHICOLA, Fla. (WTXL) — It's the time of year that businesses owners have been waiting for.

Andrea Pendelton owns The Station, one of the businesses in Apalachicola hoping to rebound this Summer after being hit especially hard by the pandemic.

"Our lively hood was on the line," said Pendleton.

She said the restaurant lost over $150,000 in 2020.

This is not the first time hard times have fallen on this restaurant.

In 2018 the restaurant's roof was torn off the building, leaving them without one for nearly a year.

"We had plenty of tarps," said Pendleton. "It's how we survived. Blue tarps were everywhere."

With those tarps a thing of the past and COVID-19 restrictions lifted, things are looking up in the coastal community. Yet there's another concern, hurricane season. With storms like Elsa putting coastal communities on alert, Chamber of Commerce Director John Solomon said a big storm could be devastating to this community.

"During the high season, it would be devastating for this time of year for something to come through, tourism would come to a screeching halt for a period of time," said Solomon.

But for Riverside Mercantile, they're already seeing double their sales this year and said they're prepared for anything.

"The town is thriving, businesses are thriving. We've withstood hurricanes, Covid, so we're here to stay," said owner Michele Seawright.