The Florida Recreation Vehicle Trade Association (FRVTA) has moved its annual meeting scheduled for the middle of September from the storm-damaged Sanibel Harbour Resort and Spa to the Clearwater Beach Hilton about 150 miles to the northeast.
“Sanibel Harbour told us they weren’t going to be able to be ready,” said FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson, who toured the facility late last week. “They made the decision for us.”
More than 250 people were expected at the FRVTA’s 24th Annual Convention Sept. 9-12, but attendance may be hampered by the aftermath of Hurricane Charley, which cut a swathe of devastation through central Florida on Aug. 13.
“We probably are going to be off on attendance, perhaps substantially,” Wilson said. “The convention might not be high on some people’s priority list at this point.”
Communities from Fort Myers north to Punta Gorda, including Sanibel and Captiva islands, weathered the brunt of the storm, estimated to have inflicted $8.5-$11 billion in damage.
Several thousand people remain homeless as a result of the storm, and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) was moving towable RVs into the area for temporary shelter.