The Margaritaville Resort is making strides toward opening day on Fort Myers Beach.
WINK News got an exclusive look at one of the most anticipated projects in Southwest Florida with a possible opening in December, but General Manager David Cesario hopes to move that date up sooner.
Cesario gave WINK News an exclusive look at the progress made so far.
“You can see behind me there, the pilings for the live soundstage are there,” Cesario said. “They’re putting the thatch roof on five o’clock, somewhere above the bar, that will have 60 stools, will be at the Gulf.”
The resort will include a 380,000-gallon pool and a 43,000-square-foot sunset terrace called “Take Me Away From My Problems.” The resort includes 254 rooms.
“It has eight cabanas, over 500 chaise lounge chairs, a restaurant, ‘Five O’Clock Somewhere,'” Cesario said. “It’ll have a walk-up bar, the ‘Salty Rim.’ We have live music seven days a week.”
Cesario took WINK on a tour to see the progress that’s been made, especially after a tumultuous 10 months.
Ian was a setback, he said.
“The actual damage it did wasn’t that severe,” Cesario said, adding that, “For example, ‘Five O’clock Somewhere’ of the pilings for this building are 75 to 100 feet underground. And this is built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, so it got damaged, in terms of stuff that was probably more aesthetic. But the structure itself is solid.”
To Cesario, Margaritaville is a crucial piece to the Town of Fort Myers Beach’s recovery.
“Well, last time I saw us at the topping out ceremony, we were talking about how creative and resilient a lot of the businesses around here have been, which has been remarkable,” Cesario said. “There’s a lot of great stories there, but this is a really large puzzle piece of bringing a lot of people back to Fort Myers Beach in the terms of visitors to Fort Myers Beach and being a venue that people can come and stay and eat and play.”
Some in Southwest Florida got excited this week after the resort’s website went live.
“We did a soft testing of our website and our reservation capabilities” Cesario said. “We did not formally announce that because you want to be able to do a little bit of test, and that is to make sure that everything’s working correctly, so the anticipation has been, you know, intense.”
Soon enough, the reservations will open up.
“We’re going to do a formal announcement that we’re live reservations next week, so we turned on the lights just to make sure everything worked,” he said.
For now, the website says they are accepting reservations starting March 15 of 2024, but the goal is to open up by mid-December.