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County beaches ‘open for business’ claims Sanibel & Captiva Chamber

By Staff | May 27, 2010

Lee County tourism leaders want to make it clear: the beaches are clean, oil-free and open for business.  Callers are still concerned, but the message about Lee County beaches  remains the same.

"The beaches are clean. They’re open. We’re just in great shape here. And we’d just like to make sure that people understand that," said Ric Base, President of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce.

Base reports that to help protect our tourism industry, BP has given "Visit Florida" $25 million to help spread the word.

"The loop that they’re talking about, that some of the oil is being picked up in, is actually quite far from our coast," Base added. "Somewhere around 200 miles, depending on the way the wind is blowing."

The Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau is driving home the same  point right now at an international travel trade show in Orlando. Telling consumers and journalists there that Southwest Florida beaches are open for business.

Charistaian Schepmann is one tourist here who is profiting. 

"Great nature, great city," Schepmann said. "Everything was really fun." 

Schepmann is leaving Florida in a few days. But Base offered some advice for those who haven’t  arrived yet.

"If somebody is planning on coming in — anywhere in the State of Florida in the next few weeks — come, because it’s a great time of year," Base said. "The beaches are in wonderful shape."