Plenty of people could visit the Anna Maria City Pier during Thanksgiving week. The forecast calls for temperatures in the low 80s and many island accommodations are reporting near capacity for the holiday week. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin
Anna Maria Island accommodation owners and managers already are giving thanks for a great-looking Thanksgiving weekend.
An Islander survey found most accommodations booked for Thanksgiving, with only rooms or homes here and there still available.
At Cedar Cove Resort, 2710 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, owner Eric Cairns predicted the resort would have its best Thanksgiving week ever.
“We’ve got just a few single-night rooms available, and the way the phone has been ringing, I don’t expect those to last very long,” Cairns said.
“I’m definitely excited about the week. We’ve got lots of families coming, and we may do a Thanksgiving dinner for our guests.”
Cairns said if he gets any drive-up traffic, he’ll do his best to accommodate people, either at Cedar Cove or a neighboring property.
“There’s usually one or two people who decide at the last minute to come to the island for some peace and quiet,” he said.
At the White Sands Resort, 6504 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, co-owner Ken Gerry said Thanksgiving reservations “really look good. We should definitely be filled by Thanksgiving Day.”
Meanwhile, in the vacation homes industry, Kelly Powers of Anna Maria Island Accommodations, 315 Pine Ave., Anna Maria, said she had some homes available “but people who are looking for peace and quiet have booked well ahead of time. We’ll do what we can to help the last-minute visitor, but smart vacationers know to book ahead.”
If AMI Accommodations doesn’t have a suitable rental, Powers said the staff will call around looking for what guest desires.
“We all try to help each other, especially when it’s busy like this weekend,” she said.
The same is true for Island Real Estate vacation rentals, said co-owner Larry Chatt: “We’re really about topped out, but we’ve got a few left. We’ll do all we can to help the walk-ins, including call other properties to see if they can help. All in all, it’s going to be a great Thanksgiving for all the wonderful families who enjoy what this island has to offer.”
Chatt said the office, 6101 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, would remain open until 8:30 p.m. throughout the week to assist those looking for rooms.
David Teitelbaum, owner of four resorts in Bradenton Beach, said advance reservations for Thanksgiving have “gone through the roof.”
Visitors to the island have learned not to wait until a few days before a holiday.
“You don’t want to get shut out from your favorite resort by waiting until the last minute,” he said. “But we’ll help all the walk-in traffic find a room. On the island, we all cooperate with each other.”
Teitelbaum owns the Tortuga Inn, the Tropical Isle, the Silver Surf, the Tradewinds and the SeaSide resorts, all on Gulf Drive North in Bradenton Beach.
Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce president Mary Ann Brockman said the chamber keeps a list of available vacancies among its members during holidays.
“People can call us or drive to the office and we can put them in touch with the right property they’re looking for,” she said.
For information on accommodations during Thanksgiving week, call the chamber at 941-778-1541.
The chamber office is at 5313 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.