Every good mayor is a salesman for his town.
Bonita Springs Mayor Ben Nelson Jr. is going one step further: He's putting on his dancing shoes. As part of the grand opening festivities for the new Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bonita Springs, Nelson and his wife, Lori, will perform a swing and foxtrot.
“I'm Mr. Economic Development, and I've got to do this,” Nelson tells Coffee Talk. “I have no shame.”
Nelson agreed to dance lessons and a public performance at the urging of his wife and friend Christine Ross, president and CEO of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.
Nelson has taken dance lessons with Lori in the past, though it's been a few years, and he admits he's a little rusty. “We really wanted a refresher course,” he says.
Nelson's performance should generate plenty of publicity for the new dance studio. As a business owner himself, Nelson understands the value of promotion and the challenges of starting a business. Nelson runs Nelson Marine Construction, which builds docks, seawalls and boat lifts.
Nelson draws the line at some things people have asked him to do. “I won't do a dunk tank,” he laughs.