Punta Gorda air show’s return good for profits

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – Business owners boasted of record sales hours ahead of the Florida International Air Show’s return to Charlotte County.

The announcement of its comeback was made in January.

The event was canceled in 2015 after 35 years. Business owners complained that the show’s cancellation after a main sponsor backed out hurt profits . But it was a different story Friday before the air show began at 4:30 p.m. at the Punta Gorda Airport.

Past air shows generated as much as $7.5 million in spending throughout Charlotte County annually, according to county records. The switch from March to October has been an additional gift to local businesses.

“We’re going to have one of the best Octobers in the history of the hotel,” Trent Seguin, the general manager of the Punta Gorda Waterfront Hotel, said.

Business owners are hopeful that the success of the air show will bring in more traffic for the remainder of the year.

“Hopefully this is a great kick started for season to get everybody down here sooner and help build some business and drive some sales,” Todd Stople, the executive chef of Hurricane Charley’s Raw Bar & Grill, said.

Tickets for the Florida International Air Show are being sold at the gate. They are $20 for adults and $5 for kids ages 3 to 13.

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