UPPER KEYS -- Memorial Day weekend in the Florida Keys often means happy merchants and frustrated motorists.
"It's our busiest weekend of the year," said Robby Whitehurst, co-owner of the Caribbean Club in Key Largo.
Whitehurst said he expects his parking lot and boat ramp to be packed this weekend.
Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said those on the road should expect delays and exercise patience.
"You're not going to get to the front of the line," Ramsay said. "Passing one or two cars isn't going to help you."
The Sheriff's Office will increase its presence on the water to target people operating boats under the influence of alcohol, Ramsay said.
Gathering places like the popular sandbar at Whale Harbor channel are expected to be busy as boaters raft up for parties.
Though the sandbar is the main attraction for many day-trippers and weekenders, some hope the visitors will continue driving south.
The owner of Robbie's Marina on Lower Matecumbe Key said the holiday gives merchants an opportunity to build repeat customers.
"Whether it's Robbie's, Postcard Inn or Bud N' Mary's, it's good for Islamorada and people will keep coming back," Michael Reckwerdt said.
Weather for the holiday will have an impact and initial reports show clear skies.
Craig Cope, director of the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce, said he has queried many of the local hotels and they are mostly full for the weekend.
"They hovering around 90 percent," he said.
The chamber leader said part of his job during the holiday is getting people into a hotel bed.
"About half of the people who come here don't have a hotel reservation," Cope said. "We have no places we can send them."