FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – With all its glitz and sizzle, the Fontainebleau Resort is open once again.
It welcomed back guests Monday after being closed for more than two months amid the coronavirus crisis.
“We were very happy to welcome our first guests back and it’s getting busier each and every day. Going into the weekend it’s looking really busy so we’re excited to have our guests back,” said Fontainebleu president and COO Philip Goldfarb.
Re-opening businesses big and small is no easy task. Not only does it come with a lot of safety restrictions, but some businesses are also having to deal with protests stemming from the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
The protesters have been rallying against racial injustice sparked by the death of Floyd, who died in police custody last week. Only one of the four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest has been charged.
In demonstrations across South Florida over the weekend, some stores were vandalized and looted. Police say agitators are the problem.
On Sunday, some businesses along Las Olas Boulevard were hit.
Andrea Sarracino, owner of the Sarracino Salon, has to replace the front window after someone shattered it several hours after a peaceful rally ended downtown.
“They threw a rock in my main window,” said salon owner Andrea Sarracino. “There’s another hole, somebody must have kicked it in.”
Sarracino said the vandalism couldn’t come at a worse time. He’s just getting his business reopened amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s operating under lots of restrictions.
“It’s just a very, very sad story, especially since they are so close together,” he said. “Now it seems like everything was fading away and we got this.”
Sarracino, like some of his neighboring businesses on Las Olas and Himmarshee Village, plans to board up after dark to try and prevent any more damage.
“We need to work,” he said. “After we are done, me and my brother are probably going to put the shutters up just to make sure, a little bit of protection. At this point, I’m watching the video from Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, it’s just a mess.”
“We shouldn’t have to deal with that right now,” said Mike Wilson.
Wilson recently bought the Macabi Cigar Bar. He’s been scraping by, waiting to fully re-open. Now adding to his stress is the fear of vandalism and looting.
“Now, part of our closing process is boarding up at the end of the night so we can prevent the damage or get ahead of any people that want to come down here and do bad things,” he said.
On Sunday, Broward County issued a seven-day curfew which mandates that residents stay indoors from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.