Businesses in Times Square will pay more for outdoor dining


FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Business owners will be paying more money to rent outdoor space in Times Square. How much more, still needs to be decided.

It’s been an ongoing debate. Should business owners in the Times Square area pay more for outdoor dining?

“After the tourists leave and everything, there isn’t a lot of people, so they wouldn’t be making as much,” said Candice Meador.

Most people WINK News spoke to don’t like the idea. They say the $4.50 per square foot businesses pay now, is plenty.

“A lot of these places rely upon the tourism and their spending, it’s not here right now,” said Rick Corbin.

The town council is divided on this issue, some saying ‘no’ to a rent increase, while others say it needs to happen. Town staff did some research and proposed to raise it to $12 per square foot.

“I would like it to stay. It’s a bad time to raise it,” said Corbin.

Council members agreed $12 was too much and wants the staff to come up with a more reasonable number. Some visitors worry the prices on the menus will go up as well.

“I am not in favor of that because the restaurants have to get money from somewhere, so they would have to raise the prices of their menus,” said Jessica Mathisen.

“I will still come, it’s a nice place. I love Fort Myers and in being my family.”

Business owners will have to wait until at least June 15 to find out how much more the rent will go up. Businesses have to renew their outdoor lease permits on September 30.

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