Island gets an early Christmas gift
On Dec. 12, Anna Maria Island received an early Christmas gift from USA Today. It didn’t come in a gold box with a big red bow, and it wasn’t something that had to be assembled or needed batteries. It was much much better than that.
A reporter for USA Today made her way to Anna Maria Island and based on the article she wrote, fell head over heels in love. She was positively gushing over the laid back old Florida lifestyle she found on Anna Maria, something that needs no explanation to most Sun readers.
She reported on the beautiful sunsets, lack of crowds, affordability and diversity of vacation choices on Anna Maria, ranging from beachfront homes to Island efficiencies. She interviewed visitors and residents and highlighted local restaurants, bars and shops, pointing out that there is something available for every pocketbook on Anna Maria.
But the interview that for me stood out from every other interview was one with a local bartender who said, "There’s a lot of money here, but it’s quiet money." This statement alone says it all, and is the reason that real estate on Anna Maria will be back with a vengeance.
What is it that retirees and second home buyers are looking for? If you’re getting to that certain age and are getting ready to retire, you’re probably looking for a safe place to live, with cultural and recreational outlets, a variety of dining choices and good access to medical facilities. Anna Maria has all that.
If you’re a second home buyer looking for a place to unwind and come down from the daily rat race back home that won’t knock your socks off, Anna Maria has that too. And if you’re a buyer with quiet money the investment opportunities right now are endless.
Beachfront and waterfront properties are in abundance with seven year old price tags attached. The appeal of this to well-heeled buyers who are looking for a good investment in today’s economic environment, in addition to the island life Anna Maria has to offer, can’t be overstated.
The value of the USA Today article goes so much further than just pumping up the impending tourist season. Remember that most property owners on Anna Maria first came to the Island as visitors, and it will be this year’s tourists from around the country and around the world who have the potential to start gradually turning the real estate market around.
This season, more than ever, we should welcome visitors with open arms and enthusiasm for our Island paradise. The USA Today reporter said she is tempted to keep Anna Maria’s low-keyed assets under wraps, maybe this was a good idea in years past, but this year we should be shouting it from the rooftops.
The Christmas tradition of gift giving gets into full swing tonight, with gifts wrapped in glorious holiday colors. However, this year the best gift for Anna Maria Island came wrapped in newsprint, with black and white lettering and the promise of lasting all year. Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday season and a peaceful new year.