Town Council wants to stop violence at Lani Kai on Fort Myers Beach

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

People who live on Fort Myers Beach and their Town Council are tired of the violence and bad reputation that the Lani Kai Resort is giving them.

There have been countless fights, stabbings, and, most recently, a murder. Dawn Thomas lives down the street and frankly, after last month’s shooting, she’s had enough.

“We are seeing the police here three or four times a day and that doesn’t include fire and rescue and EMS who show up at the same time and that’s what we said enough is enough,” Thomas said.

Thomas does admit crime is a problem all along Fort Myers Beach, but she thinks most of it stems from one place. “The Lani Kai is the number one source of the issue,” Thomas explained.

Mayor Ray Murphy says he hears the complaints of his constituents, so he and the Town Council are ready to take a new course of action against the resort. They will be establishing a Nuisance Abatement Board, which is designed to target sources of crime.

“It didn’t come as a shock, I mean, there have been some problems there over the years and so forth, and the latest one that happened here,” said Murphy.

The Marketing Director for Lani Kai, Melissa Schneider, said, “It’s understandable. I know, of course, a lot of people are really worried about what has happened as we are in our family.”

But she also says it’s not only the Lani Kai causing problems. “This is something that’s taking place in a large area that I think needs to be addressed,” Schnieder added.

Thomas is just hoping the resort makes some changes. “I can only hope that this will happen and that Lani Kai will take some drastic measures and make some changes so it does become a safer and better place for people to live,” she said.

Schnieder added that she wants the resort to be a part of the solution as well so they can help make the beach safer. One way Lani Kai is doing that is by putting new rules in place including requiring guests to wear wristbands. No one without a wristband will be allowed on the premises after hours.

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