Two Ormond-by-the-Sea businesses react to drop in Florida tourism

Ocean Crest Villa, which was built in 1948, has lost its walk-up traffic.

  • Ormond Beach Observer
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Updated 12:46 p.m. Aug. 19

While one motel is struggling due to the pandemic, just down the road in Ormond-by-the Sea a restaurant is doing better than it did a year ago.

Ocean Crest Villa, which was built in 1948 and then expanded in 1951, has 12 rooms to rent, but there is hardly any walk-up business, according to the manager, who asked not to be named.

“Nobody’s coming here to rent,” he said. 

In the meantime, he said, he is renting out rooms for $1,000 to $1,150 per month on a yearly contract.

“We’ve gone from a motel to a property management operation,” he said.

Only two people have rented rooms long term, because most who inquire aren’t able to pay the rent plus deposit.

The motel, at 2040 Ocean Shore Blvd., closed entirely from March 29 to June 11, due to the state’s orders.

Deborah Spain, manager of Lagerheads. Photos by Brian McMillan
Deborah Spain, manager of Lagerheads. Photos by Brian McMillan

Meanwhile, several blocks north, Lagerheads Bar and Grill hasn’t been slowed down by the pandemic, according to Manager Deborah Spain, who was hired more than a year ago.

Typically, she said, business consists of 30%-40% tourists, but despite a recent state report that tourism is down 60%, Spain said the restaurant hasn’t slowed down.

“We did takeout for a little while, but honestly, everyone was very generous,” she said. “I feel like last year was slower. I’m making more money than I did this time last year. I think people are more generous, and I think our locals are very loyal.”

Across Ocean Shore Boulevard from Lagerheads, a couple was visiting from Indiana. They said they had planned the trip some ago, to visit family in town, but they delayed the trip until now.

“We kept track of things, and noticed a downward trend” in COVID-19 impacts, one of the Indiana visitor said.



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