Vice Mayor hopes Fort Myers Beach will be ‘functional paradise’ by next year

Reporter: Michael Hudak
Published: Updated:

Fort Myers Beach Vice Mayor Jim Atterholt is hoping Fort Myers Beach will become “a functional paradise within one year.”

How realistic is that goal now that it’s been 112 days since Hurricane Ian?

If you’re talking about hotels taking reservations again, that can happen.

But for the people who live on the beach? The ones living in trailers, whose homes are not liveable, paradise won’t be rebuilt in a year, maybe not even two years.

Atterholt said the goal is to make Fort Myers Beach a beautiful, operable place and that means businesses being open, the streets being clean and the hotels ready for reservations.

“Things are being rebuilt so much quicker than people predicted. We will have a functional paradise within less than a year, our hotels will be open, our condos will be open, many of the homes are in progress. Margaritaville will be open in less than a year,” Atterholt said. “I’m so optimistic about the future of Fort Myers Beach, I can’t begin to tell you and the owners of the Whale epitomize that that resilience of that and that optimism,” he said.

That paradise might take place on Estero Boulevard but it’s a different story when you turn down a residential street and see the lives that have been destroyed.

The good news is places like the Lani Kai and Diamondhead told WINK News they expect to take reservations again some time this year.


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