TULUM, Mexico (AP) — Mexico's Caribbean coast readied for the arrival of Hurricane Grace on Wednesday, evacuating some smaller hotels, opening shelters and suspending ferry service to Cozumel as the Category 1 storm drove toward the heart of the country's tourism industry.

Grace was expected to make landfall before dawn Thursday between Tulum, known for its low-rise hotels and hip nightlife, and the island of Cozumel. Gov. Carlos Joaquin said that authorities would be evacuating hotels there that were not made to withstand hurricanes and called for a halt to alcohol sales in the region at 5 p.m.

On Wednesday afternoon, Grace had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph) and was moving west-northwest at 16 mph (26 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. The storm’s center was located about 250 miles (400 kilometers) east of Tulum.

The center said more strengthening was possible before landfall.

On Tulum's main drag, tourists in plastic ponchos splashed through puddles as the wind picked up. On the beach side, the surf grew and beachgoers took shelter from the blowing sand.

Up the coast in Cancun, fishermen dragged their boats away from the water's edge in preparation.

State authorities said that as of last week, the region was hosting about 130,000 tourists and hotels were more than half full despite the pandemic.