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Recap: 5/8/20 COVID-19 Industry Partner Call

Hello {{VCard.FIRSTNAME}},

Thanks to those who joined today’s call. We will host a webinar next week at 9 a.m. Friday, May 15, to discuss the Visitor & Convention Bureau’s marketing recovery plan and consumer sentiment. Watch for an invitation with the details.

Here is today’s call summary: 

- Commission Chairman Brian Hamman said the drive-thru testing site at CenturyLink Sports Complex, 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Fort Myers, has the ability to test 750 people a day.  

A Lee County Order he discussed allows restaurants to place seating in outdoor areas, such as the parking lot, following certain guidelines. This order will remain in place for five days after the date on which the governor allows restaurants to operate at 100% capacity. Read the complete order here.

- Lois Croft, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA), reported on industry impact after restaurants opened outdoor and indoor seating with 25% capacity. Many restaurants decided not to open because it wasn’t fiscally prudent. Some businesses did better by continuing delivery and take-out orders because of labor and supply costs. Also, the industry faces staffing issues as some staff make more on unemployment. As a result, businesses are finding it difficult to spend Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) money. Lois reported that requirements may be changing as a result.

- John Talmage, Lee County Economic Development (EDO) Director, said Round 2 of the federal Paycheck Protection Program has provided 186,000 loans in Florida for about $12 billion. The average loan is around $70,000.

There are two unemployment portals:

  • E-Connect is the traditional state portal for state unemployment benefits
  • Reemployment Assistance is the portal for the enhanced Federal benefit

About 43% of the applications have been processed.

SBA - Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications are continuing to be processed but the amount a business is eligible for has been reduced from $2 million to $150,000. Only applications in the pipeline are being processed and no new applications are being accepted except those related to agriculture.

Tamara Pigott, VCB Executive Director, gave the STR Report for the week of April 26 - May 2:
Occupancy 23.1%, down 66.6%
Avg. Daily Rate, $77.53, down 44%
RevPAR $17.88, down 81.3%

Based on numbers, it appears that the low point for Occupancy may have been April 12-18 at 16.9% and the numbers are beginning to increase. The low for ADR was April 19-25 at $75.69.

Texas and Florida have led weekend hotel occupancy gains, but for Florida the biggest gains were in the in northern part of the state. However, the trend is positive.

She also shared STR projections for the nation. For 2020 – Occupancy of 37.9%, ADR at $113 and RevPAR at $43. In 2021 – Occupancy of 59.7%, ADR at $117 and RevPAR at $70. The 2021 numbers are projected to be below 2019.

Beach openings:

Sanibel outdoor seating regulations and more information at

Lee County Economic Recovery Resource Portal

This website offers one-stop shopping for all businesses needing assistance. Visit or call 239-533-2273 to reach trained staff to help with resources you need to recover.

VISIT FLORIDA resources:

Small Business Marketing Toolkit

Marketing Toolkit

Federal resource: Opening Up American Again

We have a virtual vacations section on our website that includes beach cams, wildlife cams, virtual experiences and Zoom backgrounds.

Stay in touch and let us know if we can help. Visit for updates. Thank you for all you do. Have a safe weekend.

Tamara Pigott
Executive Director

The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel

2201 Second Street, Suite 600 | Fort Myers, Fl 33901
Toll Free 800.237.6444 | Local 239.338.3500

Sanibel & Captiva Islands
Fort Myers Beach
Fort Myers
Bonita Springs
Cape Coral
Pine Island
Boca Grande & Outer Islands
North Fort Myers
Lehigh Acres

Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau
2201 Second Street, Suite 600, Fort Myers, FL 33901, USA
phone: (239) 338-3500 | toll free: (800) 237-6444

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