In just a few months, Fort Myers Beach will never look the same again.
What is now a mostly vacant lot will soon transform into the Fort Myers Beach Margaritaville Resort—a 254-room hotel with a beach club, shops and more.
Two lawsuits had delayed construction on the new resort, but now that they’ve both been resolved, “that means you’ll see demolition of existing structures and construction of the new project starting sometime right after the first of the year,” says Margaritaville Spokesperson John Gucciard.
That’s good news for businesses like On The Sand. Employee Judy Ann Liot says they expect even more customers at their gift shop.
“Whether they’re locals, from different parts of Florida, from Europe, from Canada—it’s all going to be very, very well received,” said Liot.
Vacationers Cherri Cox and Pam Brienza say no doubt people will want to come in and have “cheeseburgers in paradise” or get “wasted away in Margaritaville.” It’ll also bring a whole new attraction to Fort Myers Beach.
“You have more hotels, you’re not calling and saying, ‘Oh, we’re booked,'” said Brienza.
“It’s going to bring a lot of business to this area and if the hotel rooms are really expensive, it’s definitely going to bring a lot of money to the mom-and-pop shops,” added Cox.
So what’s next for the coming resort?
As they finish up the legal process on the project, there are also plans in the works to build employee housing, a hotel and extra parking offsite. Developers will meet with the hearing examiner at the end of the month.
They hope to open the hotel in 2022.