‘It has really changed Titusville:’ Businesses say launch crowd brought much-needed boost

Titusville businesses excited for a long weekend as SpaceX tries for launch again

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Though thousands may have been disappointed the SpaceX Falcon 9 did not launch Wednesday, businesses in Titusville are grateful for the boost, saying what was scheduled to be one-day event has now turned into a long weekend because of the scrub.

“Now that they are scrubbed, people are here for a week,” said Ram BK, owner of BK Kayak Adventures.

Just weeks ago, Ram was worried for his businesses closed during the pandemic.

“I was about to file for bankruptcy,” he said.

However, thanks to the federal Payroll Protection Program, he was able to not only survive, but thrive this weekend.

"My businesses is twice as much busy right now," he said with booked kayak tours through the weekend.

Down U.S. 1 in Titusville, some of the guests at the Casa Coquina Bed and Breakfast extended their stay through Monday. Owner Dennis Fitzpatrick also credited the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for reopening Thursday.

“We are booked until Monday,” Fitzpatrick said. “The Space Center opening up, that was plugging the plug.”

Fitzpatrick had tears in his eyes seeing businesses booming as they did Wednesday.

"I get excited as everybody," he said crying. "We had other business people come in and they were just tickled. I'm an Elon Musk man now, it has really changed Titusville."

Across the street at El Leoncito, owner Mike Sanchez said his restaurant was down about 50% in businesses during the pandemic. However, with the crowds who he served by social distancing in the parking lot Wednesday, they are now back to normal and ready to do it again on Saturday.

“This week we are finally in the green, thank God,” Sanchez said. “For everybody here in town, Titusville is a space shuttle town, it’s a good thing. It’s going to give us another day where we can cerebrate and hopefully it goes off Saturday.”

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