Southeast
An aerial view from a drone shows an area of South Beach that the city closed in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, March 16, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla.(JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES)

FL - Florida’s Not the Happiest Place on Earth Right Now

The Sunshine State faces a dearth of tourism dollars due to closures of Disney parks and other destinations, but hoteliers hope for a return of the staycation.

This year it's mostly about empty theme parks and music venues, social distancing rules and struggling small hotels. Baseball's spring training is off for now. Colleges are telling students to stay away from campus and study online.

A health crisis is always bad, but the coronavirus pandemic couldn't come at a worse time for Florida. Starting in late February, peaking now and ending in mid-April, spring break is a key driver of the state's tourism-heavy economy. Year-end holidays are the other peak season.

Soon after Julia Tuttle used orange blossoms – plus some free land – to lure Henry Flagler's railroad to Miami in 1895, Florida started depending on tourist dollars. This hasn't changed.

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