TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Gov. Ron DeSantis' supporters from across Florida poured into Tallahassee Tuesday to watch him take the oath again. All those people are pumping a lot of money into our area economy.
From restaurants to lodging, the inauguration’s economic boost reaches far beyond the capitol building. The people who work nearby year-round said it's an opportunity they're capitalizing on. The inauguration crowd overflowed Tuesday morning with hundreds of people making the trip to Tallahassee. In the crowd were Renee Torpey and Marisa Kahn. They made the five-hour drive from Brevard County just to see the governor. "I haven't been to Tallahassee since, probably, I was a kid," said Kahn. "It's just exciting. The energy here is incredible," added Torpy.
That energy driving hundreds like them to the capital city and making hotel rooms hard to come by. Torpy said she made a reservation at Four Points by Sheraton downtown two weeks ago. "A lot of hotels were already sold out. This one, they had two rooms left. I immediately booked,” Torpey said.
Management at Four Points told ABC 27 all 164 rooms are now sold out for Tuesday night.
"It's an exciting time but a great time for local businesses, especially coming on the real first business day after the new year,” explained Sue Dick. She is President and CEO of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. While she couldn't give specific numbers on the impact this crowd is having on the downtown area, she said the impact can last beyond inauguration day. "FSU, FAMU and TCC are all nationally ranked. It's important for people to not only enjoy the inauguration but also take in all the great assets we have in the community," Dick said.
One of those assets is Poco Vino on South Adams Street. It’s just steps away from the capitol complex. "We opened in October of last year. We just had our one-year anniversary,” shared Amanda Morrison. She leads this wine shop and event space. "This is the time of year when we get to engage with new customers." They're using this opportunity to roll out new lunch experiences to keep the foot traffic moving downtown through committee week, legislative session and beyond.
Now, businesses are working to keep people coming back for another visit.