If you’ve read my blog post entitled, “6 Compelling Reasons to Winter in Maine,” you know that the winter population around these parts is about to explode. How can we be ready with open hearts and hands to warmly welcome our Florida neighbors, and their cash? What sorts of effects will this demographic shift have on our economy?
- Food industry: Restaurants will expand hours and workers so they can handle peak sales between 4-6 p.m. Early bird specials and buffets will be as prolific as snowflakes. New menu staples will include: stone crabs, fried gator tail and key lime pie.
- Alcohol sales: With happy hours beginning at all hours of the day and night, there will be a flood of alcohol sales. On a sober note, AA will offer more noontime meetings.
- Medical services: Orthopedic surgeons will be vying for positions in Maine ‘Joint Replacement Centers of Excellence.’ And plastic surgeons’ careers can finally get a face-lift: cosmetic surgeries all winter; spending time at the lakeside cottage lathered with sunscreen all summer.
- Housing boom: Trailer parks and condos will surface like frost heaves. DEP will relax standards to allow building in swampy areas to make our Florida friends feel at home.
- Intergenerational activities: Ice rinks will be brimming with young skaters practicing hockey skills and retirees honing up on ‘ice shuffleboard.’
- Theme park: With sagging attendance in Disney parks “For the First Time in Forever” Disney World will “Let it Go” and open a northern theme park called “Frozen.” (Not sure how they came up with that name).
- Unemployment rates: Unemployment will plummet as seniors compete with teenagers for part-time jobs. Teens will shock their parents by getting up before noon to hustle for shrinking fast food opportunities.
- Car Sales: Buick and Cadillac franchises will be as plentiful as potholes.
Are you ready to hop on your snowboard and plunge into this wild economic half pipe? What expansions of current businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups can you envision in the brave new winter wonderland?