July 4th Means Business for St. Augustine | Business

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July 4th Means Business for St. Augustine
Business
July 4th Means Business for St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The Fourth of July is the single busiest day of the year in St. Augustine, drawing tens of thousands of visitors to the city for fireworks and vacation.

It's not just a holiday. It's a money-making day local businesses depend on.

Inside the Casa Monica Hotel Monday morning, the lobby was full of people. There were no vacancies over the weekend and the general manager said he expects Monday night to be the same way.

MORE: July 4th Festivities on the First Coast

"This is my third Fourth of July here and this is the busiest one. I can definitely tell a difference at the hotel," said Casa Monica Hotel general manager Anthony Lazzara. 

Last year would be tough to beat after a solid season due to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "We benefited from that last summer and so did the east coast of Florida," Lazzara said.

Because of last year's uptick in tourism figures, tourism officials predicted this year's numbers could be as good as last year's - or maybe a little better. So far, many merchants and hoteliers have said business is more robust than last year.

Debbie Hepner, who works at H.W. Davis Clothing and Shoes on St. George Street, said, "It's always been extremely busy [on the Fourth] and it's been busier than last year. "

Having the holiday on a Monday helps, too, she said. "Yes! That's always really great. "

Lazzara called all the reasons for the business boost a "perfect storm."  He agreed that July 4th on a Monday is good for his hotel, along with "gas prices taking a dip, the weather is great, it just all fell into place."

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