The Myerside Resort: building back bigger, but is it better?

Reporter: Amy Galo
Published: Updated:

An empty plot of land on Fort Myers Beach is about to see some big changes.

The Fort Myers Beach town council approved plans for the Myerside Resort on Monday.

The resort will feature 45 hotel rooms, as well as a restaurant and retail space on the first floor, and it’s bringing about mixed reactions.

“It is beautiful,” said Argelia Sternberg, on vacation from Las Vegas, after seeing the renderings.

While four members of the town council were all for it, Mayor Dan Allers was the odd man out.

“To put a 54,000 square foot building on a one-acre lot is pretty large, in my opinion,” said the mayor.

He’s not the only one who feels that way.

“We’re gonna go from the small town feel to the big-time tourist,” said Delhagen.

“There’s this one,” said Joseph Micciulli, a local. “You got Margaritaville, and then there’s going to be another one. Next thing you know we’re turning into Miami Beach!”

Sternberg disagrees. She struggled to find a place to stay on the island for her vacation after Hurricane Ian did a number on many of the old spots.

“It was hard to find options within this area, within walking distance to the beach and to the other restaurants,” Sternberg said.

But if more resorts are developed, Mayor Allers worries about whether the island’s infrastructure can keep up.

“As we keep moving forward, if we keep approving these projects with a 100 plus increase in density,” said Allers. “I think 10 to 15 years down the road, the residents… they are certainly going to pay for that.”

As for Myerside’s location, it’s right by the elementary school and nextdoor to the library.

That doesn’t sit well with some.

“That can’t be a positive for the school or the parents taking the kids to school,” said Micciulli.

The mayor, however, sees no problem with it.

“They’re in what is called the heart of the island,” noted Allers. “So it really promotes these kinds of things: boutique hotels, restaurants, shopping, walkability, bikeability.”

The mayor just wishes the new Myerside Resort was a bit smaller and less dense.

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