The Tampa Bay area is preparing for a huge payday from the Republican National Convention there in late August and we need to get a piece of that action.
By "we" I mean the hospitality industry in Southwest Florida.
By action I mean 50,000 people will be at the GOP blowout, partying and politicking just a two-hour drive from here.
Maybe some of them would love to come here to chill out, deflate, detox, whatever, on our beautiful beaches. An opportunity that size could liven up what usually is among our slowest periods, economically speaking.
So I took my idea to some of the hospitality experts around here and I got an education.
"We're working on some ways to pique those visitors' interest in coming to the Paradise Coast for a little rest and relaxation," says Jack Wert, who leads the Naples, Marco Island & the Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Mac Chaudhry, general manager of the Hilton beachfront resort on Marco Island, had been thinking about this prospect too, but he sees potential roadblocks..
"The conventioneers will be within a 30-minute drive to beaches at Clearwater and St. Petersburg. That's the big problem.
"I think Orlando definitely will benefit from the GOP convention with all those hotel rooms just an hour away. We're just a bit too far."
Robert Pfeffer, director of marketing for the Marriott Resort on Marco, was formulating a way to get some attention to our tourism-rich area from convention-goers staying at Marriott hotels in the Tampa Bay area.
"The challenge is that we already are selling out (the Marco resort) the three nights following the convention," he said.
That's part of Labor Day weekend and it's a nice challenge to have.
Michael Reagen, president and CEO of the Naples Chamber of Commerce, supports any efforts to tap into Tampa's GOP gold rush. He suggests an after-action sort of approach.
"Maybe the State of Florida tourism promoters could have a campaign thanking all those thousands of convention-goers and urging them to come back and see the rest of this beautiful state.
"After all, those people at the convention may have reasons to make future trips to Florida and we could work on that."
Direct spending for the convention will be up to $200 million, plus the multiplier effect, which Tampa officials say equals more than twice the actual amount of dollars spent.
Big bucks, but seemingly just out of our range.
Don Farmer is a former ABC News Correspondent and Bureau Chief and a CNN news anchor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.