Christmas is just over a week away, and stores are rushing to open their doors for the last-second shopping rush. Tin City Waterfront Shops—some of which didn’t reopen until Thursday months after Hurricane Ian—are ready to meet the holiday shopping head-on despite some stores still needing work.
Workers at Tin City tell WINK News the support from the community has been amazing. Some businesses have been open since Black Friday, but others weren’t ready to open until just before Christmas.
Debra Underwood is relieved she could open her store ahead of the holiday. It took a while to get things in a presentable condition, but she’s happy to welcome shoppers back after Ian.
“We are still a work in progress, we still have slat walls to go up, we got products to refill,” Underwood said. “We lost a lot of inventory. We lost all of our displays, and we got new displays. But, as we’re getting to a place where we can get the majority of our stuff out, we are open for the customers.”
The customers are happy to be back, too, taking care of last-minute holiday shopping and contributing to Tin City’s recovery.
“We like to come here because we’d like to support the small businesses,” said holiday shopper Shelby Sloan. “It’s nice here, because it’s not crazy busy, so everyone should come out here and check it out. And they have the cutest little gifts; stocking stuffers. We just bought a few stocking stuffers, great homemade gifts here.”
Just a few doors down is DanaTyler Jewelry, eager to welcome its patrons back as it works to rebuild.
“So we’re in a temporary space; we’re gonna remodel again,” said Kelly Carle, district manager of DanaTyler. “But we wanted to be here for the holidays for everybody to come and visit, and we’re super happy to be here. Customers are loving it and grateful that we’re here.”
For people interested in coming out top Tin City, the shops invite people to bring ornaments to decorate the Christmas tree outside.