Owner, CB’s Saltwater Outfitters
“2012 ended up similar to last year, which is better than two or three years ago. 2011 picked up for sure, and with Siesta Key Beach getting the No. 1 award, that’s a little bit we can hang our hat on. We have both tourists and local customers. We sell live bait, so we have a lot of anglers from here, and they can pull up by boat because we’re on the water. Boat rentals are a large part of our revenues, and so are fishing tackle, bait and guided fishing trips. So is our sportswear. We have had a lot of travel customers purchasing lightweight, packable sportswear for trips to Africa and to the islands.
“The kickoff to Thanksgiving weekend was OK, but we were down from 2011. Last year over the holidays, we had some 80-degree days; this year it was a little chilly for the boating group.”
Co-owner, Captain’s Landing
“We own two men’s resort clothing stores: Fisherman’s Village in Punta Gorda, where we’ve been for 17 years, and downtown Venice, which we opened seven years ago. We also do a tremendous web business—one-third of our total revenues come from web sales, and we ship all over the country and the world.
“We started selling on the web five years ago. We knew we had to become three-dimensional, because two-dimensional doesn’t work in today’s world. It’s a lot of work, updating new product and so forth. We were recently invited to sell on Amazon and that’s going well. I had a feeling we’d get good business from the web, but it has exceeded expectations. Bricks-and-mortar sales are good, too. I’m very optimistic.”