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Florida Legislative Session Impact

Thousands ascend upon the capital city for the 2006 Florida legislative session, bringing thousands of dollars with them.

Lawmakers and lobbyists have made their way to Tallahassee, which means the spending has begun.

Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, says, "Our members are always thrilled to see the legislative session come. It is a time in which traditionally hotel rooms are very difficult to come by. If you haven't already booked one, you probably won't get one."

The Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors' Bureau says almost a quarter million in revenue is generated from hotel stays alone, and where they sleep, they also have to eat, many of them at Andrew's downtown.

Andrew Reis, the owner, says, "It's good for business, no doubt about it. This is our season. We've geared up our crew for it and we have a lot of catering on the books and we are hopeful to have nice weather."

Booked hotel rooms and crowded restaurants are always expected during the Florida legislative session, but even floral shops are getting a piece of that pie.

Melanie Garnett, a floral designer for Blossom, says, "We get really, really busy. We have lots and lots of orders. It's an onslaught of people calling us and placing orders for the representatives and the senators."

Local business owners say the extra crowds can get stressful, but the more than $100 million in spending during the 60-day session is well worth it.


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