Pinellas business owners brace for red tide impacts

- As red tide moves in, local business owners in Pinellas County are bracing for the possibility of tough financial times in the near future.

"We’re going to bite the bullet and we’re going to struggle through it,” said Dan Casey, who owns Snapper's on St. Pete Beach.

Cleanup crews collected 17 tons of dead fish from some Pinellas County beaches over the weekend. Business owners said they haven't felt major impacts, but what happened in Sarasota and Manatee counties is a very real fear.

“We were hoping it wouldn’t get this far because it has been down south for so long," said Casey. "All you can do is dig in and try to do the best you can.”

Capt. James Dutton runs Bent Charters, he has been getting calls from clients asking whether red tide is a problem.

“It’s really stopping people from coming down which is totally understandable," said Dutton. "You book a vacation you want it to be perfect."

Business owners are trying to remaining optimistic, hoping the toxic algae moves out quickly. If it doesn't, they said it comes with the territory.

“If it does boil down to that, it’s definitely a tough year," said Dutton. "You just have to look forward to the next one."
 

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