Even in a state that’s wired to cater to the whims of its 100 million annual visitors, there’s a tension between the eagerness of pro-business politicians like DeSantis to return to business as usual and the lawsuit-conscious cautiousness of a tourism industry that worries reopening too soon could do permanent damage to the state’s worry-free image.
Right now, instead of following DeSantis, many of the state’s businesses are nervously keeping an eye on the state’s biggest tourism moneymaker, Walt Disney World—although they lack similar resources for a long-term pandemic pause. The park closed March 16, well ahead of the governor’s order, and has yet to announce a reopening date. One analyst predicted that, because of a lack of a vaccine and an expected economic slump, Disney’s gates would remain locked until 2021.
In the meantime, like schools and strip clubs and other shut-down entities around the state, the Flora-Bama is trying to shift the Flora-Bama experience to the web, sort of.