Spring break still going strong in SWFL despite coronavirus fears

Reporter: Nicole Gabe
Published: Updated:
Fort Myers Beach spring break (WINK News)

This season’s spring break features sun, sand, surf and something a little different.

“We brought masks just in case,” said Lisa.

This spring-breaker kind of hedged her bet: prepare for the worst but make the trip hoping for the best.

“We haven’t run into any issues, so I think it’s alright,” she said. “I’m not sure what to do about it,” said Reggie Grace. “I’m here to have fun.”

The people who run the Lani Kai say all is well this week, next week and throughout spring break.

“Everything has been smooth sailing and we actually have very few rooms left,” said Melissa Schneider, marketing director for Lani Kai.

The Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau told us in a statement that it’s closely monitoring the situation and communicating with industry partners.

Collier County is taking a more aggressive approach.

“We are actually putting our crisis communications plan together as we speak,” said Jack Wert, director of the Collier County Tourism Bureau. He says his job is to be ready to react to anything that might keep people away.

“If this gets any worse, that we will and we begin to see room cancellations and so forth, we will probably go to our tourist development council at the end of this month, and also the county commission to release some of our emergency advertising dollars to help curve misinformation if it is out there,” he said.

The messaging right now is simple:

“Come out and have a good time, wash your hands and enjoy the sunshine,” Schneider said.

The Lani Kai says it has a handful of rooms ready and waiting. The same goes for Collier County. They’re actually hoping people who are looking for a spring alternative look to Southwest Florida.

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