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Captiva business owners set plans in motion for holidays

By Staff | Oct 14, 2010

A large group of Captiva business owners met last Thursday to further discuss their plans for stimulating business during the typically slow period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

At a previous meeting, attendees shared their ideas for attracting more people to the island during the holiday season, including decorating Andy Rosse Lane and hosting special events every weekend, beginning with the annual tree lighting ceremony at ‘Tween Waters Inn the Friday after Thanksgiving.

“Once you set the stage, which is basically the design — the lights at ‘Tween Waters and decorating Andy Rosse Lane — you need to have a reason for people to come. We need signature events [and] we need to do events that speak to the uniqueness of Captiva,” said Paul McCarthy, owner of McCarthy’s Marina. “What we talked about at the last meeting was doing four weekends, beginning with Thanksgiving. We need a signature draw for each of the following weekends and then we can build around them with smaller events.”

The tree lighting at ‘Tween Waters will be the signature event for the first weekend, Nov. 26 and 27, of the plan.

“The following weekend (Dec. 3 and 4) would be when we unveil the Captiva village. The Chamber Luminary is that weekend, so we already have a signature event, we just need to fill in around it. One of the things Denice (Beggs) has been working on is a golf cart parade. People who live here can decorate their own golf carts and people who are staying here could rent them and decorate them,” McCarthy said.

For the third weekend (Dec. 10 and 11), business owners all seemed to agree on an aquatic theme for the weekend, including a boat parade. A skimboarding competition is already scheduled on Captiva for that weekend.

The fourth weekend (Dec. 17 and 18), is still open, but attendees seemed to agree on a major art event for the final weekend of the holiday plan.

Of course, more events are still in the works, but business owners seemed excited to move forward in organizing the four major weekends.

“Everyone has to work together and I think this will be fun. We’re taking a hold of our destiny. This could be a fantastic annual event,” McCarthy said, noting that if the holiday plan proves to be a success, business owners can then start to examine other slow periods, such as June and September.