Due to the uncertainty caused by cases of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Southwest Florida, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce has closed its office until March 31, 2020, and has postponed its annual meeting scheduled for April 14 at Sundial Beach Resort.
“We hope that you are all well and taking care of yourselves and your families,” wrote John Lai, chamber president and chief executive office, in an email sent on March 16 to all members. “In an effort to exercise extreme caution and under the most recent CDC recommendations, I have consulted with our executive board and we have made the difficult decision to cease visitor center operations effective Tuesday March 17th for a two week period, at which time we will reevaluate based on government mandates and CDC recommendations. The health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and visitors is our number one priority.”
While the Chamber Visitor Center lobby and bathrooms remain closed, the chamber will provide a portable cart at the building’s entrance that will be restocked daily with vacancy information, visitor guides, and rack cards.
Staff will also be monitoring mail and email, sending out requested wedding and relocations packets, and responding to phone calls during the temporary closure. Signage on the Visitor Center’s front door directs those who stop by to the Dunes Golf and Tennis Club on Sanibel Island for more assistance, and lists phone numbers and email addresses for contacting chamber staff.
Visitor inquiries and membership questions can be directed to TK[what phone number?] and TK[what email address] for personal assistance between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. seven days a week.
“We are doing all we can to make sure our members continue receiving the same support and promotional efforts we provide year-round,” said Lai. “We sincerely hope to be back in full swing as quickly as possible to serve the community that we love and are committed to.”
Chamber staff will be announcing the new annual meeting day as soon as possible, along with a new date for the ribbon cutting at Hirdie-Girdie Gallery, which had been originally scheduled for March 18.
ABOUT SANIBEL & CAPTIVA ISLANDS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. With over 560 active Chamber members from both islands including businesses from Lee and Collier counties, the Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. The Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Chamber Visitor Center is located at the entrance to Sanibel Island and welcomes over 160,000 visitors each year. VISIT FLORIDA named the Visitor Center one of thirteen official Florida Certified Tourism Information Centers. The Visitor Center is open 365 days a year and provides visitors with comprehensive information about things to do, places to visit, where to stay, shop and dine. The Chamber website http://sanibel-captiva.org receives over 1.3 million website visits per year.