COCOA BEACH, Fla. — Florida is known for the sunny weather almost year round, but on Christmas, it was more of a winter wonderland. Beachside businesses were emptier than ever, and the cold temperatures were not helping.

What You Need To Know

  • Beachwear shop open on Christmas had customers waiting to get in

  • Shoppers were buying clothes to try to keep warm

  • Alvin's Island has lost about 50% of its business since the COVID pandemic began

  • Seeing customers on Christmas pleased the employee who was working

But one souvenir clothing shop on Cocoa Beach was taking advantage of being the only beachwear shop open.

Instead of bathing suits, boogie boards, and sunscreen, people were buying clothes at Alvin’s Island to keep warm. Within the first hour, about 15 customers walked through the doors.

“We had people waiting to come in when we pulled up,” Alvin's Island employee Jacob Picard said. “It's been mid-70 [temperature] all week, and [this was] the coldest Christmas in almost 10 years."

It’s actually been longer than that since the temperatures were so cold on Christmas.

Stacey Vaught, who was visiting from Vero Beach, said the cold snap caught her and her husband by surprise.

“We are buying a jacket for my husband because it’s chilly outside, and he said it doesn't get cold in Florida, and ironically, he has to buy a jacket,” Vaught said.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that cruise ships are not sailing out of Port Canaveral, Alvin's Island has lost about 50 percent of its business.

“It's a lot slower than last year because of COVID,” Picard said. “It’s slowed things down in this area and especially with the weather. When its warmer, it[s a lot busier.”

Despite sales being down compared to previous years, Picard said he was grateful to see a few new faces on Christmas Day.

“Yesterday [Thursday] and today [Friday] have been unusually busy, which is great,” Picard said.