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Times Square's new info booth open for business
February 14, 2018

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It's been a journey for George Freeland to open his moveable visitors information center in Times Square.

He started the process early in 2017 after the Fort Myers Beach Chamber removed the "Roxie" from the same location. It took him almost a year to get through the process to be approved.

"We had a change of town council, a change in town manager and a hurricane," Freeland, owner of Moss Marina, said.

But it's now up and running. The moveable booth had a soft opening in January.

The booth is open from 9 a.m.until sundown, with at least one person manning the booth at all times to answer questions from the public. Businesses advertise their services on the four TV screens, and Freeland has placed lots of information about the town and its various attractions, such as the Mound House, front and center.

It's still a work in progress to get the booth fully-functional. Freeland said he's planning to keep the "soft" opening going for this season, so he can begin to spread the word to businesses about the advertising opportunities. He's also getting new TV screens that can compete with the bright sunlight.

The advertising is open to beach businesses to promote their services, such as water sports, tours and restaurants.

Freeland is also actively searching for employees for the booth, he plans to have eight to ten to work shifts there, and looking for information they should know. He said he'd welcome anyone, including residents, who had something the employees should know to share with visitors, to let him know.

He's calling these employees "beach concierges," and he's working now to train them to know as much information as they can about the beach.

"I want the new concierges to know all the beach assets," he said.

In case of weather, the booth is fully weather-proof with coverings for the screens and windows. If a storm should come along, the booth can be disassembled into two parks and moved within two hours, Freeland said.

But, one of Freeland's main goals is to help the beach during the off-season, he said.

"I want to focus on Lee County residents," he said.

With the population of the county slated to double in the next 20 years, it will put a lot of pressure on the beach.

"Lee residents should have the knowledge to know where to go and where to park," Freeland said.

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