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Captiva business owners hope to make holiday season more successful

By Staff | Oct 6, 2010

Last Thursday, Captiva business owners met at South Seas Island Resort to discuss ways of launching an island-wide initiative for establishing Captiva as a holiday destination, Thanksgiving through New Year’s.

The meeting, led by Paul McCarthy of McCarthy’s Marina, and Denice Beggs, of Beggs Realty, attracted many island business owners who were interested in creating a more festive atmosphere — including new activities, promotions and events — for the holiday season.

In August, Beggs and McCarthy were discussing how to create more business for Captiva by introducing new holiday attractions to enhance the annual Captiva Luminary.

During the meeting, McCarthy presented an analogy comparing the enhancement of Captiva businesses to renourishing an eroding beach. In order to keep the beach — and business — healthy, Captivans must identify “hot spots,” or low business activity periods, and renourish those low points with attractions that encourage more visitors to come to Captiva, thereby replenishing and initiating new business. Temporary business stimuli — which McCarthy likened to sandbags and seawalls — simply aren’t enough.

“Business is the beach. And you know what’s happening? Erosion. Look at your numbers,” McCarthy addressed the group. “Business is eroding. So, we have a choice. Do we want to do business renourishment or do we want to sandbag? It’s time to renourish our businesses, but we have to have a plan because it’s not going to happen individually. Renourishment only works if everyone wants to participate.”

The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, McCarthy said, is a “hot spot” or, a dead zone for business on Captiva.

For the remainder of the meeting, attendees discussed several ideas that they thought would help attract more business during the seasonal “hot spot.”

Suggestions included a boat and golf cart parade, concerts, a “Christmas Star” cruise, coordinated decorations and lights for all parts of the island, roving carolers, Santa Claus-themed events, fireworks and storytelling at the library.

Captiva business owners will continue to meet at South Seas and brainstorm within separate committees devoted to specific areas of the holiday plan, such as retail, accommodations, decorations and events.

Existing events, such as the annual Luminary and Christmas tree lighting ceremony at ‘Tween Waters Inn, will act as the foundation upon which business owners can build up new events and attractions.

If you are a Captiva resident or business owner, and would like to be a part of the Captiva holiday business plan, contact Denice Beggs at 472-0078 or denice@beggsrealtors.com.