August 29, 2012
We are on the brink of a three day holiday weekend and the state is in damage control. Florida was spared the wrath of Hurricane Isaac and now, Governor Rick Scott is on a mission to let travelers know Florida is open for business.
Isaac passed by Florida leaving pockets of flooding and the state mostly intact. As the storm shifted west, Governor Rick Scott began altering his message to fend off another disaster; a Labor Day weekend without travelers.
“I want to make sure everybody knows this weekend Florida will be opened for business. We are going to have a great tourism weekend this weekend. It’s going to be sunny. We are going to have great fishing. Amusement Parks will be open,” said Scott.
AAA doesn’t expect many cancelations. And since Isaac tracked west, calls to their office have picked up.
“It hasn’t put a dent in business at all. People are still traveling,” said Brenda Smith, a spokeswoman with AAA.
With Isaac no longer a threat to Florida, the new problem is what it left in its path. More than 90 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico shut down and gas prices in Florida have shot up.
Statewide the average price of a gallon of gas rose eight cent this past week, and calls to the Attorney General’s price gouging hotline are pouring in.
“We are in the process of reviewing all 124 as they come in. About a third of those have been declared, so far, to be unfounded,” said Attorney General Spokesman John Lucas.
Gas prices are expected to stay high through the next two weeks. The spike will impact tourists driving to Florida, but AAA says it won’t deter travelers from coming, only how much they spend.
Scott traveled to the Florida Keys today as part of his mission to let tourists know the state is ready for visitors.