After years of fighting, a new hotel could finally change the Fort Myers Beach skyline.
On Monday, the town council could decide the fate of the proposed hotel, which will feature 300 units, along with restaurants, shops and a water park. However, the city set aside an additional day to discuss the proposal if a decision is not made on Monday.
The people behind the project are hoping it will restore and reinvigorate the downtown beach area.
But the big plans are receiving pushback from many who live in the area.
“I think the town deserves better and I wish TPI had just not presented such an aggressive plan,” said business owner and resident Doug Speirn.
Speirn says the project will add too much congestion.
“It will dwarf everything else on the island. And in this location, I think the scale of it isn’t going to be an improvement,” he added.
But TPI insists the complex’s size won’t be an issue.
“It’s important to understand that this area actually supported about the same number of units at one time before Hurricane Charlie,” John Gucciardo, a TPI spokesman. “We think it’s a reasonable request given what had been here and what can be here.”
Residents have mixed feelings.
“It already takes me an hour and a half to get to work when there’s traffic, which is most of the day,” said Sierra Brownlow. “I feel like adding the whole hotel would make it like two hours to get here.”
“I really believe that it will help out this area with all the people coming down here,” countered Thomas Stawicki.
Regardless of where they stand on the issue, residents and business owners are anxious to see what the town council decides.
“I think this is a defining moment for this town,” Speirn said.
If the plan passes the town council, an entire block of Fort Myers Beach would become part of the new resort. It would span from 5th Street all the way to Estero Boulevard.
The Fort Myers Beach council will hear the proposal at 9 a.m. Monday.