VOLUSIA COUNTY, Florida. – It’s Speedweek at Daytona Beach and circuit officials have declared Sunday’s race officially sold out.
Events begin Monday evening to kick off the 64th year of the big race. Volusia County businesses are ready for the boost that comes with it, but ask customers to be patient as they continue to face staffing shortages.
More than 100,000 people will head to Daytona Beach this week for Speedweek events and races.
[TRENDING: These senior citizens gave their best Valentine’s Day advice | Historic Orlando hotel was mecca for African American celebrities of the ‘60s, ‘70s | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]
“From a grandstand perspective, there are 101,500 seats, and then you add all the hospitality in the infield, all the campers, all the rivers and all of our suites, there’s a lot of people who are going to be here” , Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher said.
Kelleher said unlike last year, there is no limited capacity for the pandemic and interest in the sport has gained momentum.
“All the momentum we have with the new Nascar NextGen car just speaks to the health of the sport,” he said.
Local hotel owners are feeling the boost this week.
Bob Davis, president of Volusia’s Lodging and Hospitality Association, said most were full Thursday through Sunday.
“Rates are a bit higher and therefore occupancy is good and all hoteliers seem to think we are doing well for the period we are in,” he said.
It’s also one of their most stressful years to accommodate the influx of guests.
“No one is at full capacity with the employees, but they are doing their best,” he said.
Davis, who also owns Perry’s Resort in Daytona Beach Shores, said most hotels have their current employees double-duty — while they try to hire.
“A lot of people use independent agencies to bring in people from out of state and out of country with special permits,” he said.
With the staffing issue affecting every business in the hospitality industry, Davis said he’s ready to show more patience this Speedweek.
“I would say it stresses management a lot and goes even further, restaurants, bars, services, you can’t get the service you’re used to,” he said.
Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All Rights Reserved.