DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WALA)-- Despite the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo being a much smaller show this year because of COVID-19 restrictions, some businesses on Dauphin Island were lucky not to have been negatively impacted.
Ahead of the 87th annual tournament many were concerned about how the weekend would pan out for local shops, without the more than 75,000 people typically drawn to the island for the event.
While some did see a decline in business, despite the changes this year, many who spoke with Fox10 News actually did pretty well.
Steady business at ‘The Happy Octopus’ this weekend was a surprise to Rita Etherton who works at the local beach boutique.
“As much as they’ve cut back for the rodeo and with the virus, I think we’re doing pretty good,” said Etherton.
Rick Seybold, owner of Islanders Restaurant & Bar was actually fortunate enough to see business go up.
“Saleswise we’re actually a little higher than we were last year,” said Seybold.
At Island Rainbow, LLC many of the customers they’ve seen were visiting the beach from all over, stopping by for a snow cone and pizza.
“It's been kind of crazy, despite all of the virus going around and stuff, we still get a lot of call in orders and a lot of people coming up here and ordering,” said Dalton Weaver.
Seybold says a big problem they’re facing right now is staffing.
He says a lot of places on the island have had to cut operating hours… even entire days because they’re having trouble hiring.