ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — So far this year, Florida has seen a 20% increase in the number of visitors compared to last year.
With the traditional tourist season fast approaching, one local area is trying to attract more people by telling them to stay away.
The Sophisticats on Wednesday entertained the lunch time crowd at the Sunrise Sands Resort in Fort Pierce.
Hotel Manager Michelle Mirucki said the crowds are coming.
“Weeks are starting to fill in. We’re looking in the next few weeks, but the weekends are definitely booming,” Mirucki said.
And November is also when things really start to get busy for this musical duo.
“It’s feast and famine. We’re coming into the feast. We’ve been famining. Tighten the belt and we watch the coffers shrink, and when the season comes we get to fill them back up,” musician Leilani Norton said.
So WPTV told them about a new marketing campaign undertaken by Treasure Coast tourism offices called “Don’t Come Here.”
“It’s a snarky, cheeky way to attract attention to our ads and our messages,” said Charlotte Birerley, the director of tourism and marketing for St. Lucie County.
Birerley has joined with her colleagues in Martin and Indian River counties to create the campaign that’s tinged with a touch of sarcasm.
“By saying, ‘Don’t Come Here,’ unless you love beautiful beaches and stunning sunrises,” Birerley said.
Birerly said Treasure Coast tourism numbers are strong and breaking monthly records.
The concept began in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic to get people nearby to come and visit, and it’s only grown since that.”)
“I thought, why not come here? It’s a beautiful place,” said Beverly Long, who’s down from Ohio with her husband, Jim.
Despite the slogans, they plan to keep visiting, and the Sophisticats plan to keep playing. For them, the more, the merrier.