Businesses hope to bank on Wallenda Walk

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Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013 11:00 pm | Updated: 11:07 pm, Mon Jan 28, 2013.

SARASOTA - From the beginning, Nik Wallenda said he wanted to do a tightrope walk across U.S. 41 to showcase the beauty of Sarasota. Wallenda got permission and is set for the amazing stunt on Tuesday. Thousands are expected to pack city streets to see it all unfold live in person.

Business owners in Downtown Sarasota expect those thousands to stop on in to buy, browse, eat or drink.

At Artisan Cheese Company on Main Street, owner Louise Converse decided to rename the grilled cheese sandwich on her menu, the Wallenda grilled cheese, to commemorate the event.

"The grilled cheese Wallenda. It's magical," said Converse. "The idea of this happening outside our window, I am thrilled and could not be more excited."

Across the street at Living Walls Furniture, owner Alison Bishop agrees, and is thankful for Wallenda and Circus Sarasota.

"I think we are lucky to have it and I think they are bringing back attention to our downtown. It's just a really generous thing for them to do," said Bishop.

Virginia Haley, the President of Visit Sarasota County, says Wallenda's stunt will prove to the country just how beautiful Sarasota is.

"It's a huge economic impact. As we all know from living here, our beautiful bay and water is really what sells us. There is another cold front sweeping the country, so it could not come at a better time," said Haley.

Wallenda's walk will start at 11am Tuesday morning.

ABC 7 will be airing the entire event live on the air and streaming here on's

Watch Nik Wallenda's Skywalk page.

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