NAPLES, Fla - Naples is being named one of the richest metropolitan areas. It comes in at number six according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and now Naples' wealthy population, along with the city's billion dollar tourism industry is making it very attractive to international businesses.
Both an Italian shoe designer and Canadian Coffee Shop are expanding in Naples over any other destination in the country.
Damiano Marini is a rising star in the luxury shoe world, designing shoes for stars like Lady Gaga. The designer made his United States debut this year in Miami during fashion week, but when it came time to set up a store Naples was the destination of choice.
"He studied the demographic and purchasing potential of the cliental and that became very attractive to him so it became a draw for him to be first in tropical paradise," says Marina Montmorency.
Montmorency opened Casanova's Boutique in Naples Bay Resort, the first in North America to sell Damiano Marini's shoes, which cost anywhere from $500-$1,000 a pair.
"We are first and I find it to be very unique situation to pick Naples. This is what I call a tropical Switzerland," says Montmorency.
In mid February, Second Cup, a Canadian coffee shop will open in Mercato with the hope Naples will be its flagship location.
"We made the determination that Naples is a good fit for our product offerings. We like the residential demographic, the people that live in Naples are a good fit for what we do and we also believe the visitor profile, the people that visit the area are a good fit for what we do," says Steven Somerville, franchise partner for South Florida.
In 2011, Collier County saw a record 1.5 million visitors, including a boost from international travelers. Those tourists had an economic impact of more than $1.2 billion. That coupled with Naples' latest "Richest City" rankings make it a prime market for foreign companies.
"I believe Naples is that specialty store mentality and so I believe we have a high potential of that moving forward," says Montmorency.
As for Second Cup, Sumerville says they opened up their first store in Pembroke Pines, but Naples was the stores first choice in terms of where they wanted to be. They hope to expand throughout Florida in the next few years.