Spring Break weather off to a cruddy start

CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. – Rainy, cloudy, chilly. It isn’t the balmy weather beach businesses were hoping for on the first day of Spring Break on Pinellas County Beaches. 

Shahana Cruz of The Tropics Boat Tours and Angie Acton of Mega Bite Boat Tours found it particularly difficult to sell boat tours in the drizzling rain on Monday. It was a big blow for the ladies, who both were banking on a big day of sales. “It’s supposed to be the busiest week of the year and then the weather took a turn,” Cruz explained. Acton added, “We’re not doing so great today but we will keep fighting for sales till the last boat goes out.”

Even though U.S.F, Hillsborough County and Pinellas County Schools are off this week, you couldn’t tell on the sandy beach of Clearwater. That’s sure to be the case for the next couple days too with a cloudy and chilly Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in store.

Cruz is praying for the sun to come out, but just down the street, another business owner is also praying but for something entirely different.

“I don’t necessarily pray for bad weather but we’ll take all the bad weather we can get,” David Yates, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, joked. 

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium banks on bad weather days. The line to buy tickets for the aquarium snaked far back behind the ticket counters at both of the aquarium’s locations Monday. 

Spring Break is already the aquarium’s 2nd busiest week of the year and when it rains or temperatures drop, their ticket sales double!

“I’ll take sleet, snow, whatever I can right now. Whatever it takes to bring people off the beach to see us,” Yates said while laughing. 

Tourists are also seeing the bright side, especially the Kudelka family, who are skipping out on below zero temperatures in their hometown in Canada. 

“Sure, we’d love to be out on the beach, but it’s still way better than snow at home,” Andrew Kudelka explained.

Sometimes when the weather turns gloomy, it’s all about perspective. Audrey Riedle agrees tourist, “It’s great. I’m from Massachusetts and it’s snowing right now so I’m actually really excited that I’m standing here in the rain.”

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