CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Cape Coral's largest resort is changing hands and it could mean big business for Lee County. The Resort at MarinaVillage in the south section of the city, is turning into a Westin.
But there are concerns the switch wll cost people their jobs.
In a couple of months, the beautiful Resort at MarinaVillage will have a new name: The Westin Resort at Tarpon Point Marina.
Sunstream, Inc. has managed the resort since 2009. Gary Locke is the director of operations.
"The resort was sold back in November of last year to a new group and they've been creating a strategy for how to make the resort successful. They feel like their best option is to go with an internationally recognized brand such as Westin," Locke said.
Locke says Sunsteam could cease management as early as December. Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. will take over the luxurious resort and transform the hotel to fit the Westin brand.
Almost 200 people work at the resort and some of them are concerned about keeping their jobs after the switch. And while Locke can't make any guarantees, he says he remains optimistic those employees will be able to keep their jobs. "For most of the employees, their employment will be transitioned to a new employer," he said.
Phil and Marie Anne Leonard of Punta Gorda hope the Westin name will boost the local economy. "It's going to bring more people in which brings more dollars to the companies around here," said Marie Anne.
"I would hope that it wouldn't affect what it already has, which is the view, the relaxed atmosphere, the restaurant," said Phil.
We've learned that the new management company could also add a restaurant after the switch. We reached out to Starwood for comment, but we're still waiting for a call back.