East End businesses say they're seeing a boom of Long Island visitors as COVID rates drop

Businesses on the East End say they're seeing more Long Island visitors and expect to have a boom in the summer.

News 12 Staff

May 11, 2021, 7:57 PM

Updated 1,070 days ago

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Businesses on the East End say they're seeing more Long Island visitors and expect to have a boom in the summer.
Even last year in the pandemic, East End wineries were a big draw for Long Islanders to visit.
There were restrictions obviously in how many people could come, but Long Islanders just felt the need to be outside.
The Hyatt Place East End says its summer bookings are going quickly.
"At this juncture, I'd say there's a good 80% increase in our business in the hotel operation. And out of that, 75% are Long Islanders and New Yorkers coming out," says Bryan Deluca, of the Hyatt Place East End.
It's a similar story all throughout the area. And what many are noticing is that there's a drop in bookings from out-of-state and international travelers and an increase in locals.
This year, wineries say they're expecting even bigger crowds and an even higher percentage of guests who live locally.
"We track the amount of customers that come through because of the reservations system that we have," says Ron Georler, of Jamesport Vineyard. "So we obviously noticed the New York City, Brooklyn, international travel has obviously been hurt because of what's going on, so that's been down, but we're getting a lot more of the Suffolk County, Nassau County and people that are coming out here just get away for two, three days."
Pauline Frommer, whose family started a line of popular travel guidebooks, says what's happening here is happening all across the country.
"I think there's going to be a lot of nervousness about traveling. But the thing to know is, even if you take a short trip and just stay close to home, it's going to feel as exotic as going to Egypt or going somewhere else. So have a short, little trip. Dip your toe in the water," Frommer says.
"We're in Riverhead, so people are going to both forks. They're going out to Greenport and enjoying all the beautiful vineyards on the way out. And then they're going to Montauk and enjoying the lighthouse. But it's all over Long Island. We're seeing the same thing around Fire Island. We're seeing it everywhere," Deluca says.


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