TALLAHASSEE, Fla. --
Floridas tourism assets are in remarkably good shape in the
aftermath of Hurricane Frances, according to a spokesman for Visit
Florida, the official tourism marketing corporation for Florida.
From a statewide
perspective its pretty encouraging, the spokesman said. Hotels,
theme parks and airports are in remarkably good shape. A number of
coastal properties from St. Augustine to Palm Beach saw some
damage. Some are closed, some are just doing repairs while theyre
open, some are absolutely untouched.
Most Palm Beach County
oceanfront hotels remained closed as of Sept. 7, with the exception
of Boca Raton Resort & Club. Most non-beachfront hotels
remained open, but scattered power outages in the area remain.
Nearly 3 million Floridians remain without power on Sept. 7,
according to local reports.
The Palm Beach
International Airport reopened Sept. 6 and expected to return to
full functioning in three days. The airport advised passengers to
confirm their flights and expect road closures and
Because emergency crews
were already in the state following Hurricane Charley, they were
able to start work immediately on the impact from Frances, the
Visit Florida retained
the University of Miami to do an industry survey on the effects of
Charley, and it will now include the effects of Frances. Until the
study is complete, there is no way to come up with a reliable
figure for how much damage to tourism resulted from the storms,
Visit Florida said. A report will be completed next week in time
for Visit Floridas regular quarterly meeting.
Walt Disney World in
Orlando closed early Friday night and stayed closed Saturday and
Sunday. The park partially reopened on Monday, and by Tuesday was
Lee County in
southwest Florida reported only minor effects from Hurricane
Frances. Bonita Springs, Estero and Fort Myers remained fully
operational. Sanibel Islands and Captiva were still in the cleanup
process on Sept. 7.
The Florida Keys
reported the infrastructure was unharmed by Frances. The electric
grid remained unharmed by the storm. The freshwater pipeline from
Florida City is intact. U.S. Highway 1, the Overseas Highway, is
open with no reported problems. Gasoline supplies are adequate in
the Middle and Upper Keys, but are limited in the Lower Keys and
Key West. Major highways to the Keys are operating except I-95 in
Palm Beach, where a sinkhole developed on the northbound
destinations of Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades reported
virtually no damage from the storm and they remain open for
business. Tampa also reported no damage from Frances, which brought
tropical storm conditions to the area. The citys tourist
attractions remain open.
reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].