Home / Spring break setting tourism records in Lee County; law enforcement stepping up patrols

Spring break setting tourism records in Lee County; law enforcement stepping up patrols

Reporter: Michael Hudak Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

As spring break gets into full swing this week, Lee County is seeing record-breaking numbers for tourism, with people are pumping more money into our local economy.

Hotels are seeing a lot of guests this year, and they’re anticipating more for this week. Hotel revenue was already up 80% from 2020 to 2021. While some of that increase is likely due to decreased travel during the pandemic, the pandemic has changed the concept of ‘season’ in Southwest Florida.

Snowbirds who usually flock back up north are staying here longer or not leaving at all, and Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman says all of this combined might make for a record spring break. “The rates they’re able to charge because there’s such a high demand to get into our market is even higher. Which, ultimately, that’s great for local businesses. The more money they make from out-of-towners, that’s more new money that can be paid to local employees in our area,” said Hamman.

You might be wondering how law enforcement plans to keep things from getting out of hand and makes sure everyone is safe.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is already preparing. Their watchtower is out in full effect to keep an eye on everything.

It is just one of the things local law enforcement is doing to ramp up efforts and keep people safe this spring break. You can also expect extra patrols. Law enforcement won’t necessarily say where, though, because then everyone would know, and it wouldn’t be as much of a safeguard.

You can also expect more deputies directing traffic to ensure that things keep flowing smoothly. Still, commissioner Hamman is confident that everything will be smooth sailing this spring break. “Every year, we do routinely see the increased deputies and patrols in the areas that see the most spring breakers. Fort Myers Beach is a really popular spring break destination. Again, we’re a really family-friendly area for spring break, so we don’t really see too many problems, but the deputies are always there to respond quickly if one pops up,” said Hamman.

It pays to have a plan when you come to the beach. Give yourself extra time to travel and get your whole family in order.

One Lee County Sheriff’s Office watch tower has already been placed in Times Square in Fort Myers Beach. It is unknown if more sheriff’s watchtowers will be placed throughout the town.