Letter to the Editor: A convention-like atmosphere

A feature included in the Marriott renovation plan which is seldom explored in detail is the major expansion of their “exhibit area,” into an enormous “convention-like” space, capable of displaying a wide variety of products. Marriott’s ability to market the expansion to potential clients could be enhanced greatly by the beauty of its Marco/beach location, unlike larger convention facilities available in Tampa or Orlando.

Fact: exhibitors need all sorts of baggage to showcase their products, such as merchandise display equipment, sales booths, literature, etc. All this equipment must be delivered to the exhibit site (Marriott) in trucks, up to and including tractor-trailers. Each delivery requires the truck to retrieve the same equipment, after the show. Hence, the truck is on the delivery/pick-up route (Collier Blvd.) four times to service a single exhibitor at a single show. If an exhibit or trade show features say, 40 merchants, the chance of a Marco resident encountering a hefty delivery truck on Collier, is multiplied by 40, all compressed into the short delivery/pick-up time window available before the next show.

The most important and overriding fact is that Marco Island is simply not designed nor intended to accommodate a new disruptive, year-round, high traffic business activity. The fear of a “convention center atmosphere” still exists throughout our community and increased truck traffic is a prime example of how our current “paradise” atmosphere can slip away forever.

Bill Thomas

Marco Island

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