Fewer snowbirds migrate to Florida this winter

By Donna Balancia, USAToday —
COCOA BEACH — Rising rents and insurance rates, gas prices and medical costs are among the reasons Florida businesses are seeing fewer “snowbirds” this winter.

And the hotel owners, restaurateurs and others who depend on the annual influx of these part-time residents are worried that the shorter stays will translate into reduced revenue at a time when tourism is down in general.

The first three months of the year are key for the snowbird business in Florida. But this year, the general consensus is that the roads and restaurants aren’t as crowded with snowbirds as they have been in some recent winters.

“I know people are staying for a shorter time this year,” said Blanka Kovarik of Toronto, who said that many of her snowbird friends are planning a shorter stay.

She cited relatively high gas prices and expensive medical costs as among the reasons.


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