From January through March, the population of South Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Miami, doubles to about 12 million, says auto dealer Rick Case.
For Case and other dealers, that massive influx of consumers represents a business opportunity. But they have to compete for it.
Every year, retirees from the North arrive in the fall and depart in the spring. They're called snowbirds because they mimic the seasonal travel of dark-eyed juncos, small sparrows that are also known as snowbirds.
For service staffer Paul Morris and the rest of the employees at George Nahas Chevrolet in Wildwood, Fla., the snowbirds' arrival is something to celebrate.
"We see a 32 percent rise in our service business when they're here," said Morris, a senior service adviser at the Chevy store. "This time of the year, we're appointment-only in the department."
Nahas Chevrolet is one of the closest dealerships to The Villages, a massive retirement community southeast of Ocala that has been billed by the U.S. Census, for two years running, as "the fastest growing city in America." It currently has approximately 115,000 residents.
Spread over three counties, The Villages has its own newspaper, TV and radio stations. But it doesn't have a dealership within its borders, so stores like Nahas Chevrolet -- located less than a mile away -- see a lot of regular and seasonal business from retirees.