Tin City in Naples celebrated 100 years

Reporter: Annalise Iraola Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Waterfront shops, restaurants, and even some alligator petting are all part of a Centennial celebration at Tin City in Naples.

Tin City celebrated 100 years with an official grand reopening on Friday. The place has been through a lot with Hurricane Ian’s storm surge and a car plowing through the area in November.

Expect to have a good time, do some shopping, and maybe stop by one of the restaurants. This weekend people can celebrate one of the oldest waterfront areas in Naples. There’s going to be face painting, luxury cars on display, live music and the atmosphere is hard to beat.

The first of the three-day celebration began on Friday to celebrate the 100-year milestone.

“We had 30 businesses out of business, it was kind of like my objective to get everybody open as fast as possible. And I was the one here and kind of spearheaded everything with the help of all the vendors that we had,” Craig Ekonomon, the Tin City Property Manager, said.

Store owners at Tin City, like Debora Underwood and Jen Norqual, said that Ekonomos and going through Ian together brought everyone closer.

“We have become such a family because of him. And there’s so much. We’re all so invested in Tin City now. It just feels like it was renewed,” Underwood, from Deb’s Touch of Florida, said.

Before Norqual owned a store in Tin City called Docks by Jen, she was just a kid from Minnesota.

“Tin City was like top of the list. We’d run through Tin City, you know, all our fun things to see to this day. My sister says I’ve had a shop 20 years here, and my sister’s like, can you believe you have a shot at Tin City? Like it’s just iconic,” Norqual said.

The history of Tin City is rich. Tin City first had oyster processing and a local fishing fleet. The name came from the rustic tin buildings. But now the waterfront shops and casual old Florida vibe draw in both tourists and locals.

“I call this the boardwalk of Naples because with the little shops and all, and I think that everyone has a great spirit to see the restoration,” Jerry Rule, a Naples resident, said.

“The shopping being on the water, the restaurants, events like this. We see baby alligators, and we see a woman on stilts, and we have live music,” Tin City visitor Laurel Reynolds said.

Most of the shops have been open for months. But after 100 years of history and surviving Ian, a celebration for the historic Naples destination is well deserved.

Local officials will be there for the celebration throughout the weekend, including Senator Passidomo for a 1 p.m. Ribbon Cutting on Saturday.

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