Progreso malecon
School begins Monday, so visitors grab one last chance to enjoy summer vacation in Progreso. Photo: Panoramio

Progreso, Yucatan — As always, it’s feast or famine for businesses along the beach. At the moment, a feast is served.

Hotels near the beach are reporting 90 percent occupancy this weekend, the last gasp of a summer season that ends Monday when school begins.

Restaurants also reported excellent profits, according to Sipse.

Last weekend, more than 45,000 vacationers packed Yucatan’s beaches, picnicking and splashing in the surf. After several “lazy” weekends, demand for transportation to the beach spiked in mid-August as well. A slightly less hectic, but still robust, of economic activity is forecast today and tomorrow.

After this weekend, the Progreso economy will rely more on cruise ship trade, passengers from the U.S. side of the Gulf who decide to stay at the port rather than take excursions to see ancient ruins or Merida. But they don’t stay in hotels, which complain about low occupancy much of the year.

Carnival’s Elation and Triumph are scheduled to pull into Progreso’s huge port nine times in September, seven times in October, and eight times in November, when it is joined by a once-yearly visit by the Emerald Princess.