Businesses hope Hurricane Michael clears up some of the red tide

Hurricane Michael may have washed up some unwanted gunk on to Fort Myers Beach, but the wind that came with it seems to have cleared out the red tide.

“For the first time in months, it’s been like this. This is excellent,” said Allen Beagle, who lives in Cape Coral.

“Nothing’s making me choke or anything,” Beagle said.

Business owners like Joerg Eifler, who’s ran the Flamingo Inn for the last 18 years says he hasn’t seen anything worse for business than the red tide this year.

“It was very boarder line, it was worst than the BP oil spill,” said Eifler.

“I’ve never seen my pay chart as empty for the season as it is now.”

That adds to the reason tourism numbers released by Lee County were low.

During a tourism meeting today, county leaders announced that tourist development tax collections for August are $300,000 short compared to last year.

Even though there seem’s to be less signs of red tide at the beach, hotels are still getting more vacancies than wanted, another sign red tide is still costing business.

“That’s why we have such an aggressive marketing campaign waiting in the wings for the all clear signal,” said Glen Salyer, who is Lee County Assistant Manager.

Once Lee County leaders are certain the red tide is gone for good, they have an additional $1,000,000 from the state to help with an emergency marketing plan to build tourism back.

“It’s essential for us that the word gets out and everybody knows that the beaches are beautiful again,” said Eifler.

 

 

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
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