Snowbirds are northerners who move to warmer southern states during the winter to avoid snow and the colder winter temperatures. They retain ties with family and friends by moving back up north during the warmer parts of the year. Snowbirds are typically retirees, but they can also be business owners who are lucky enough to own businesses that they can move from place to place, such as flea market vendors and people who work from home on their computers. They may also be those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or maybe they just prefer palm trees to snow. Some bring their homes with them, traveling by boat or RV, and some maintain two houses – one up north and one in the south.
The migration of snowbirds is not only beneficial to the snowbirds themselves, but it benefits the economy of the places to which they migrate. New Smyrna Beach is a snowbird town with a unique economy which is largely affected seasonally by both snowbirds and tourists.
A wide array of New Smyrna Beach businesses benefit when the snowbirds and tourists return. Grocery stores sell more, the restaurants begin to require reservations, gas stations and convenience stores get busier. Grandma and Grandpa shop for sunshine state treasures for the grandkids, so the beachside shops thrive. The bait shops see more fishermen. RV, boats and houses require maintenance, so the service industry also receives a boost. Many tourists and snowbirds also take advantage of luxurious, oceanfront accommodations, such as Sandpiper Condominiums. If it’s a business in New Smyrna Beach, you can bet it feels the effects of the snowbird migration.