The Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, saw temperatures in the mid-90s last week and a sea of shade-producing umbrellas Aug. 3. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin
Some folks on Anna Maria Island might be wondering if there is much difference anymore between the winter and summer season.
“It’s been a wonderful summer,” said Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce president Mary Ann Brockman. “I haven’t talked with anyone who hasn’t done well these past few months.”
The chamber had more than 1,200 telephone calls in July requesting information about Anna Maria Island, in addition to thousands of hits on the chamber website, she said.
Jesse Brisson, who reports real estate transactions for The Islander and is a broker at Gulf-Bay Realty in Holmes Beach, said his vacation rental business was up considerably from last year, and many units are booked through the last week of August.
August has become a very busy month for visitors in Florida after the Legislature several years ago changed the opening date for public schools from the first week in August to late August.
“August is the traditional month for Florida visitors. When school was starting that first week, tourism just dried up,” Brockman recalled.
Lobbying by the Florida tourism industry and the Florida League of Cities several years ago resulted in later school openings date, allowing Floridians their traditional time at the beach, she said.
Manatee County public schools are scheduled to resume classes Aug. 20, while private schools and Florida universities have various opening dates for fall classes.
For news on Anna Maria Elementary School fall opening and open house, see page 13.