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Editorial 622

Missy Layfield - Editor

It's All About Business, or Is It?

The Island Sand Paper is a locally owned business. We are not part of a large conglomerate or owned by some absentee investor. Our staff is small, but talented and dedicated. A missing link in our organizational chart due to our size is a Business Editor. Like many of you who own or operate a business, or formerly did; we recognize the value of having someone focus on covering business related topics. Then we look in the mirror and realize the only candidate to do that is staring back at us in the mirror. Such is the glamorous life of small business ownership, we know.

One business topic has literally sailed into our community and deserves some mention and reflection within the business community. Part of what we do as Your Local Newspaper, is to promote what we feel is good for our Community. Not one group or neighborhood, but the entire Community. Sometimes we get applause for that, sometimes an arrow in the back, but we understand it goes with the job.

Today’s question is this: "Can History Be Good for Business?”

We have had a long fascination with American history. Maybe it’s because of an interest with genealogy. Or perhaps it’s because long ago we learned that there is no better way to see where we might be going than to view where we have been in the past.

A business and historical opportunity sailed into Matanzas Bay last week in the form of the Privateer Lynx, a replica of an 1812 Clipper Schooner. The article in last week’s Island Sand Paper explains it well.Here through January 24th, we all have an opportunity learn and share some important early American history.Opportunities exist for deck tours, public sailaways, and private party rentals and/or excursions.

The Lynx is a floating museum with a crew well versed in sharing the history of the times, as well as the ship.

As Patriots, we should all be proud to celebrate this reminder of the 2nd war of independence from the British Empire. As residents and visitors of an island community, we appreciate our nautical connection on a daily basis as we track winds and tides.

With the world of Facebook, blogs, texting, and email offering an overload of instant information, we have a tendency to forget last year, last month or even a few minutes ago.The Privateer Lynx offers a connection to the world that preceded all of us, old and young alike.

Don’t we have some responsibility to pass on this knowledge of our nautical-based American history?Where else can we experience something like this in an exciting real life laboratory, library, and museum – all rolled into one?

Our call to action is first to visit the Lynx and encourage others to do so. Learning should be a life-long process.

Offer the Lynx Educational Foundation (Lynx operators) and the crew the kind of hospitality we are known for on Fort Myers Beach. Maybe by doing so, we can encourage the Lynx to return next winter and stay longer.

What if the Lynx did return for a longer stay? Think of the possibilities for our Community!

We see buses of students visiting from Lee County schools, all going home and telling their families what a great time they had, and how much they learned about sailing and history on Fort Myers Beach.

We see strong promotional possibilities partnering with the Lee County Tourism Development Council, the State of Florida Tourism groups, and our local Chamber of Commerce. The Lynx could be an entirely new and different reason for visitors to choose our Community to visit.

Talk about positive publicity and a possible great new addition to our Community!

Some of us in business grow weary of the poor publicity our Community often receives from regional media, whose emphasis is often on traffic, crime and controversy.

We know we have so much more to offer, but must constantly beat the drum so others can hear of the many positive opportunities our community holds. In the Lynx, we have a wonderful historical opportunity.

Let’s do our part to promote this historical Lynx visit. Visit the Lynx. Welcome the Lynx crew to Fort Myers Beach.

If you want to be a part of this, let us or the Chamber of Commerce know and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

For the Lynx or any new enterprise to become a part of the Fort Myers Beach landscape, it requires a group effort to promote the opportunity.

Let’s all get started now.



Bob & Missy Layfield