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COVID-19 Resources for Recovery - Image Captiva Island
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The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s weekly newsletter is your resource for news and best practices to help you navigate COVID-19 in the days and weeks ahead.

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Lee County Government is investing $57.5 million in Human & Business Services to provide immediate assistance for individuals, families and businesses. Funds are available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act federal stimulus package.

Vacation Rental Update

The Board of County Commissioners approved a plan to reopen vacation rentals pending approval from the State of Florida.

Check Status of Approval for Vacation Rental Reopening

Lee County to open more Parks & Recreation sites and amenities

Because of continued voluntary compliance and the community’s greater awareness for Centers for Disease Control guidelines, the county announced the re-opening of pools, playgrounds, pavilions, courts, multi-purpose fields (soccer/lacrosse/football), fishing piers and splash pads beginning Friday, May 22. Staff will be onsite to help encourage following the CDC guidelines, including social distancing. 

Parks & Recreation Openings
Drive-thru testing sites in Lee County
COVID-19 Testing Sites
Lee County updates Take the Pledge campaign
Updated Lee County Take the Pledge Video

VCB hosts annual Hurricane Workshop

VCB Annual Tourism Hurricane Workshop - May 21

Join us for the 2020 Lee County VCB Annual Tourism Hurricane Workshop at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 21. Learn the new normal for this year's hurricane season. See what conditions exist that have meteorologists predicting a busy storm season. If you have questions, please contact Pam Brown or call 239-533-6709.

Register Here

Songs from the Sofa concert stays in tune with virtual performance by Sam James

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, iHeartMedia and Cat Country 107.1 proudly present Songs from the Sofa, hosted by DJ Mike Tyler from Cat County 107.1. The virtual concert will feature live music, interviews and stories behind the songs featuring Sam James, a BMI singer-songwriter and star from the hit show, “The Voice." The virtual concert will be streamed on the official Island Hopper Songwriter Fest Instagram page at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 21.

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Island Hopper Songwriter Fest virtual "Songs From the Sofa" with Sam James at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 21 on Instagram Live
Executive Order 20-123
Executive Order 20-123 Infographic
VISIT FLORIDA's Small Business Toolkit
State Park's Phase 1 Reopening
Florida Small Business Development Council
Florida Chamber of Commerce's COVID-19 Resource Center
Plan for Florida's Recovery "Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step."
White House's Opening Up America Again
National Restaurant Association's CARES Act Guidance
Small Business Administration Relief Options
U.S. Travel's CARES Act Relief Resources
American Hotel & Lodging Association's CARES Act FAQs
Community kindness

MudBugs Cajun Kitchen donates $25,000 to SanCap Cares

Last week, Ron Rice, owner of MudBugs Cajun Kitchen, donated $25,000 to SanCap Cares, an organization that supports the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Rice, began raising funds from food, drink, merchandise, tips and gift cards at his Sanibel restaurant as soon as dining rooms closed and take-out service opened for business. The support of the hospital is very important to the Rice family who have a son who has required critical medical care. The donation comes at a critical time as SanCap Cares was forced to postpone its 20th anniversary fundraiser due to the pandemic.

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Mudbugs Cajun Kitchen Staff
Putting Guests First

Putting Guests First with Dr. Nicole King-Smith

and Jason Glasscock

You may be asking yourself what do your business operations look like post COVID-19? How will your customer experience make guests, and the staff who take care of them, feel comfortable, confident and protected?
Recent trends show that customer confidence is gained when properties and other businesses focus efforts on hygiene and cleaning protocols. Here are five things to consider when building consumer confidence, all while protecting your guests and staff:
  1. Safety is a top concern and guests want to know what they can expect. One way to do that is by keeping them informed through emails that detail brand promises and safety plans.
  2. Your website or app can provide guests with educational tips and tools on what they will need when traveling to the destination so they can have a great experience, with little surprises.
  3. Review your check-in/out procedure – is remote check-in/out an option?
  4. Provide signage guidelines for social distancing in public areas, such as restaurants, corridors and lounge areas.
  5. Ensure there is a detailed method to control how guests can, and should, make safe use of leisure facilities, pools, gyms and spas.

Check out our "Best Practices" section below for more information.

Best Practices
CDC's Interim Guidance for Businesses & Employers
FRLA's Critical Guidance Standards for Hospitality Reopening
AHLA's Safe Stay Initiative
AHLA's Enhanced Industry-Wide Hotel Cleaning Standards
U.S. Travel's "Travel in the New Normal"

Lee County VCB Road to Recovery Webinar
Aired on Friday, May 15
The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) shared its four-phased recovery strategy, Wait. Ready. Set. Go., that included tactics such as paid search and paid social media, observing certain indicators, like traveler sentiment, website traffic, search volume, STR data and more. Additionally, the VCB partnered with Visit Sarasota to conduct its own traveler sentiment research and shared initial findings on consumer confidence.

View the Webinar

The Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA - June Seminar
11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Tuesday, June 9
Hear from a virtual panel of local businesses who have responded and adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussion will include creative and out-of-the-box accommodations they have made to continue serving their clients and support their community. Zoom meeting details to follow.

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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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