Pinellas Co. hotels feeling squeeze of red tide

- Hotels are reporting slight drops in guests due to red tide.

"People have started to cancel their reservations for fear of red tide," said Tammy Burrell, a local hotel manager.

The toxic algae bloom spread to several Pinellas County beaches this week, killing at least 17 tons of fish, according to county officials.

Burrel said visitors have expressed concern for their health and told her they would rather cancel their plans, "some of them have asthma and they don't want to have the issues flare up."

Clearwater has been spared from red tide, and the city's tourism organization is encouraging visitors to go through with their plans.

But other areas, like Treasure Island and Madeira Beach are worried red tide won't be moving away anytime soon.

"It hurts, it hurts," said Burrell, who worries about financial hardships ahead.

Gary Figel is visiting Treasure Island from Dallas Fort-Worth, TX and said he plans to stay positive and explore other attractions that don't require sea and sand, "I don't think it will be a show stopper."

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