Bay News Tampa

Business is booming on Anna Maria Island

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bay News Nine

Anna Maria Island


Some businesses on Anna Maria Island are doing very well. Watch the story


MANATEE COUNTY (Bay News 9) -- At a time when the national economy is taking it's toll on locally owned businesses, some businesses on Anna Maria Island are showing an increase in revenue.


Anna Maria Island has long been a place to get away, but businesses on the island say visitors just can't get enough.


Mark Davis and his wife, Patty, own the Harrington House Bed and Breakfast Inn. Sunday morning they served more than 60 people.


"If you look around the beaches and you look at the traffic and you look at the trolley, I believe it is up," Mark Davis said.


According to a survey from the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, only about 30 percent of the visitors to the island are from Florida.


"It's private. It's quiet and peaceful, and it's just relaxing," said St. Petersburg resident Kara Castle. "You go anyplace else and it's T-shirt shops and condos -- that doesn't happen here."


It's hard not to credit the sandy white beaches or emerald coastline for the island's success, but being in the spotlight doesn't hurt either.


In December USA Today featured the island, and business owners say they hope the success that is happening here sticks around.


Business owners say weddings are contributing to the island's success. A few years ago there were less than 100 weddings a year. In 2010 that number is expected to jump to 1,000.