Weather dampens Memorial Day on Pinellas County beaches

A cloudy day with the threat of storms made for a slower-than-expected Memorial Day on Pinellas County beaches.

Deputies were concerned about enforcing distancing rules.

But slow and steady still meant for a much-needed boost to beachfront businesses and there was plenty of that happened this Memorial Day up and down Pinellas beaches, at least before the rain swept in.

Going into the holiday weekend – over-crowding during a pandemic was a concern of the Pinellas County sheriff.

“It’s going to be one of those crazy beach weekends,” Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said last week.

But Monday, the sheriff said the weather was a deterrent and deputies had no issues, as many visiting spent their time in their hotel rooms.

“It feels like we are almost back to normal,” said Joseph Caruso of Sabal Palms Inn.

The Memorial Day weekend rush brought a much-needed boost to Joseph Caruso’s beachfront hotel.

“Very busy, everybody seemed very calmed and very relaxed,” Caruso explained.

Dark skies mean the people who are on the beach were opting for indoors, and that’s just fine with the owner of Hurricanes Seafood Restaurant.

“The weekend has been like a rollercoaster,” Bruno Falkenstein said. “We are thankful that we are open and we are thankful that we can make a dollar.”

Beaches and their businesses are experiencing nothing like this time last year, and say they are just fortunate to open safely, rain or shine.