FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - As South Florida continues to enter a new normal, hotels and beaches in Broward County are slated to open back up on May 26.
Business owners know there is going to be restrictions, but they just can’t wait.
Michael Man of the Sea Club Resort in Fort Lauderdale said, “We are ready to go back to normal life.”
For 70 years, the resort has been one of South Florida’s hottest spots. Now, it’s nearly empty.
“We are very glad that it will happen,” Man said.
Man said the resort is in position to adhere to local guidelines and to reopen next week.
Man said, “We are in very good shape and are ready to reopen on Tuesday.”
Beginning Tuesday, beaches will be open sunrise to sunset, with no picnicking, sunbathing or lying on the beach allowed.
No group sports, umbrellas, coolers, or canopies are allowed, and a six feet distance is required unless people are from the same household.
John Burns, a local resident, said, “People are anxious to get back on the sand; it’s a beautiful time of the year.”
Chelsea Austin, also a local resident, said, “I hope it stays clean if people do go back to the beaches, but I’m ready to go for a beach walk.”
In Miami-Dade County, beaches and hotels will reopen on June 1.
Key Biscayne mayor Mike Davey said, “We’re going to work on the restrictions over the weekend. We’ll have another meeting on Tuesday.”
Miami Beach mayor Dan Gelber said, “This pandemic has been a healthcare crisis but also an economic one, and so it’s important that we give our families who are out of work an opportunity to get back on their feet.”
As hotels in Broward prepare to open, Heiko Dobrikow of the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, described the job of someone disinfecting part of the lobby.
Dobrikow said, “Using the electrostatic mixture, he’s taking care of all the areas that are high-touch areas.”
At the Riverside Hotel, masks, temperature checks and social distancing are required for guests at the hotel.
Dobrikow said, “When our customers arrive at our hotel, we do a temperature check. Next, they’re going to go and check in. We provide them with a face mask, we provide them with sanitizer in order to enjoy their stay with us.”
Marge Muth, who lives near the hotel, said, “I’d rather be safe than sorry.”
All the hotel information needed for customers is now available on cell phones.
Inside rooms, extra items have been limited.
Dobrikow said, “There’s no more coffee makers in there, but you can call somebody to get coffee. There’s no more ironing board. There are no extra pillows or extra blankets because all of these are items that would have to be sanitized after someone checks out.”
At the hotel and restaurant, social distancing is a major challenge for the patrons.
“How do we keep the customers away from the bar? We put some clear dividers in it to have some separation,” Dobrikow said.
At Fort Lauderdale Beach, cones are in place to provide extra space.
After Memorial Day, the beach will be back open for business.
Miami-Dade is gearing back up for reopening as well, as unemployment continues to skyrocket.
Gelber said, “Our city commission voted to support a reopening of our beaches and hotels on June 1.”
Bill Talbert of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau said, “This is about jobs, jobs, jobs. It’s about people getting back to work. People want to travel and they want a vacation.”
At the AC Hotel in Miami Beach, things are slowly returning to normal.
Robert Finvarb of the AC Hotel said, “I’m hoping and praying that the confidence of the consumer as far as air travel is concerned, comes back sooner than later.”
Reservations for the hotel can be made online.
Finvarb said, “There’s new standards. For example, the buffet right now is dead. Our bar has no seats. That interaction we’ve all become accustomed to is the new normal we’re evolving towards.”
No valet will be available, and hand sanitizing stations are being placed all over the hotel.
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