Parking about to get tougher at Fort Myers Beach as Margaritaville construction nears

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Jackie Winchester

Finding parking when you visit Fort Myers Beach is about to become even more challenging.

Why? Construction is slated to begin soon for the Margaritaville Resort, and to make room for that, 100 parking spots were taken out at the base of the Matanzas Pass Bridge.

“I know during the season, it gets hectic as ever. The lines backed up here for anywhere, you can’t find parking,” said Michael Caruso of Delray Beach.

His normal routine when he visits is to park in Helmerich Plaza, but this time, his preferred parking spot was fenced in.

“I hope the hotel has a spot because they want us to go way down the road to park or something like that if there wasn’t any spots.”

The plaza’s 100 parking spots are gone ahead of the construction, which is scheduled to begin Aug. 16.

“There is parking around the island. There’s parking under the bridge. There’s parking at beach accesses. There’s private parking all down the island. So there’s places to park, particularly for the off-season shouldn’t be a problem,” said Councilor Bill Veach with the Fort Myers Beach Town Council.

Plenty of people don’t agree that parking shouldn’t be a problem. The plaza was also home to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office Outreach Center, which is looking for a new home.

Veach said that could be the Beach Baptist Church on Connecticut Street.

“I know the church already has facilities there, so it can be a place to park, you know, park a trailer, that sort of thing. They talked about doing a mobile facility. And particularly with the turmoil downtown, the mobile facility has some benefits,” Veach said.

WINK News reached out to the church to get more information on those discussions but we didn’t hear back.

Now through August, there will be infrastructure improvements, including sewer, electric and stormwater lines.

The goal is to build up the 254-room resort with all of its restaurants and entertainment in two years.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.