COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - The oil spill is still hundreds of miles away, but some Collier County businesses are already documenting losses. Many local companies are taking to the Internet, letting the state know exactly how much BP's oil leak is costing them.
"Some of it's I heard the oil's there, I heard the oil's coming or the oil will be there next week." Those are the types of calls Rob Decastro and his staff have been fielding at the Lemon Tree Inn of Naples.
Thankfully, most are just inquiries. However, two calls have resulted in cancelled reservations.
"It definitely pushed a few panic buttons with them," Decastro says.
In order to keep cancellations at bay, Decastro has been tweeting beach conditions daily. But, that's not the only logging he's been doing.
"Anybody who calls in we log that information. If there is a cancellation we log that as well."
That is exactly what the county wants businesses to be writing down, and they want them to start now.
"Yes, we're getting lots of calls. Last week we had up to five hotel cancellations," JoNell Modys with the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau says.
Modys says when calls started coming from soon to be visitors, it was a red flag that now is the time to start documenting any loss in revenue.
"If we have hotel cancellations, people cancel their plans to rent boats during their vacations This is something entirely different where there is some commercial liability and BP is on the line."
What the Florida Department of Emergency Management wants businesses like the Lemon Tree Inn to do is log any losses in revenue or jobs onto a special survey they've put online. The link (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/37NF5BL) still has to have Collier and Lee County added, but Modys says that should be done in the next few days.