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Friday, April 9, 2010

Florida - Winter 2009-2010

In a nutshell... IT SUCKED!!!... But still better than weather up north ;)

One of the coldest winters ever. Numerous broken records related to cold. When it was warm it rained and it was windy the entire winter. March was the 2nd coldest on record at Saint Pete, broke the previous longest cold spell(temps do not reach 60F) of 7 days by a long shot reaching 13 consecutive days this winter, numerous individual day records, January and February were also among coldest on record. There was a lot of crop damage and many plants and animals died due to cold. I personally saw numerous dead fish and plants in my travels. Even the manatee stayed in their winter areas much longer than usual.

To top it off it was actually WARMER at the winter games in B.C. than Saint Petersburg Florida.

Of course in the last 2 weeks the weather has been fantastic. Sunny and warm(75-85F) but not too hot. Water has warmed up to at least tolerable temps(70F+). Usually it gets very hot here(90+) around this time but this year it is much more pleasant. To bad I am going home on Sunday.

Business has really suffered here this year as there has been less vacationers. As if they needed this with the problems they already have. Virtually all resorts/hotels had vacancies all year with a very few filling up during spring break. At least the last few weeks have picked up and maybe there will be enough late comers for them to salvage at least something. I expect there may be a lot of businesses failing this summer into next winter.

House prices are back down to a reasonable value and there are some really good buys. I have heard of discounts of 40%++ off already discounted prices on foreclosures. There are still some that price their houses high but there are many more that are willing to take anything they can get. Common to see 50% off "boom time" asking price. In the complex I am staying houses were selling for $450-550k like hot cakes during the boom now they are listed for $200-300k and not selling. A huge number of vacant properties.

On the positive side...We never had snow ;)... STILL MUCH BETTER THAN -40 :) Canadian dollar makes it worth while coming down for even short trips. If you have been thinking of coming here come on down! They need the business and you can get cheap accomodations(look in CraigsList).

Hopefully next year will be more accomodating... The things I suffer with ;)

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