LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The visitor and convention bureau saw a $3 million jump in tax dollars pour in this year. Taxes from tourism gave Lee County a big boost this year, but it turns out it's not just tourists that made it such a successful year.
Hotels faced the gulf oil spill and a struggling economy last year, but it looks like business is bouncing back. This is good news to the Sunstream Hotels and Resorts, too. They've seen an average of 5 percent higher occupancy in all six properties over the last year and a good portion of them are locals.
The big money for most places in Lee County comes from out of state and country. Experts believe part of the spike in visitors is a mix of America's declining dollar.
Now, county commissioners will officially spread the extra money out into three areas. Beach and shoreline programs will see some of the money, along with the Red Sox facilities and marketing programs to bring in more tourists.
The Visitor and Convention Bureau isn't predicting what will happen next year. They just hope they can top this surplus. The county commissioners will meet Tuesday to officially split the money up and distribute the cash to those projects.