May 29, 2020

Vacation Season

Vacation Season

Given all the photos of Memorial Day revelers crowding the beaches and pools that opened over the holiday weekend, it’s going to be an interesting summer. Clearly, people are going a little stir crazy after weeks of sheltering in place, but I hope we’ll see reasonable caution as summer approaches. We’re not out of the woods yet.

Tracy and I love the beach, and we usually spend a lot of time soaking up the rays on Long Island during the summer with our kids. We’re bracing for the area to be very crowded this year. People who’ve been cooped up in their homes are dying to get out, and summer rentals are already through the roof. The roads and restaurants will probably be even more packed than usual since it seems it will be a while before people start getting on planes en masse for family vacations. This is not a formula for flattening, no less, wiping out the curve.

Like many of you, we won’t be able to send Lily, Kate and Max to their usual summer camps – most of them in our area and throughout the Northeast are not opening this summer, not to mention the safety concerns that still exist. Without online school to keep the kids busy, this is going to pose some interesting and unusual challenges.

Many working parents on our team are coping with similar childcare gaps. As we continue to reopen our offices, we are doing our best to assist our professionals to find creative solutions, so parents with young children or other family obligations are not facing undue stress.

With the April 15 tax deadline extended to July 15, it’s already getting very busy. I’m strongly encouraging our team not to wait until after busy season to take some time away from their work-from-home desks. Everyone has been working so hard to keep everything running smoothly during the crisis that we all truly need some time off now to catch our breath and regroup.

Unfortunately, getting away is not really an option yet. With the travel, tourism and hospitality industries just starting to reopen, many hotels and resorts are offering incentive packages, but most people aren’t ready to travel on a plane just yet. Hotels are going to have to work very hard to make sure guests feel safe. No doubt 600-thread-count sheets are going to be less of a priority for many people than thorough sanitizing and less density – knowing a venue won’t be overbooked and that there will be plenty of space between the lounge chairs at the pool and in the bars and restaurants is going to be everyone’s top concern, at least for a while. The big challenge for the industry will be making the financial side work.

As of this writing, we have reopened several of Marcum’s offices, though a number of our employees are still working from home. Everyone is wearing masks to work, and there’s lots of hand sanitizer flowing.

Given all that’s going on, Memorial Day had special meaning this year for the Marcum Foundation. Our collaboration with BurgerFi to feed the healthcare heroes on the coronavirus battlefront took us to the VA Medical Center in West Palm Beach, FL, on Monday. This tribute to the military continued through this week, with more deliveries to the WPB VA Hospital as well as to National Guard members serving at COVID-19 testing sites in Southeast Florida. All told, the campaign will serve more than 15,000 meals to healthcare heroes at 60 locations around the country, supported in part by a generous online contribution of $7,500 from Marcum associates and friends of the firm, coupled with a significant gift from the Marcum Foundation.

Thank you to everyone who contributed and helped us honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country – and the heroes who are serving now in the military and our healthcare system to keep us all safe. They are an inspiration for all of us to stay strong.

Stay safe, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together.