Cape Coral turns 50 years old today!

The City of Cape Coral turned 50 years old on Tuesday. Southwest Florida’s biggest city is nothing like it was in 1970, and the boom isn’t slowing down.

Cape Coral is also ranked on the list of Forbs’ fasted growing cities in the nation.

We met with a woman who has been here since long before the streets were packed.

Gloria Raso Tate recalls the day she and her family moved to the City, “It was a swampland, yeah and when you came here, it was like we came in a station wagon, it was a covered wagon story only we came in a station wagon.”

It was 1960, a decade before Cape Coral became a city. Her family often took a leap of faith and headed to a place where bugs ruled – and worse. She says fish and people were on the roads, “It was a pretty interesting time. Lots of mosquitoes, and we all wondered why we were here. But my dad had the vision.”

That vision helped Cape Coral emerge as a city.

Gloria’s dad, Joseph Raso became a top salesman for Cape Coral’s developer, the Gulf American Land Corporation (GAC), turning swampy lots into prime real estate

Leonard and Jack Rosen from Baltimore formed GAC after flying over the area in 1957 and realizing the potential.

A unique and vast canal system covers the city.

Gloria says, “400 miles of canals is definitely what we are known for and it’s an exciting thing to have in your pocket when no other city can claim that.”

Gloria believes people today are attracted to Cape Coral for the same reason they were so many years ago.

“They want quality of life, family values, they want good weather, water, boating is a huge thing in Cape Coral,” Gloria said. “So it’s still the same drive today as it was before and that is what the Rosen’s capitalized on, that’s why they called it the ‘Waterfront Wonderland'”

Reporter:Nicole Gabe
Writer:Derrick Shaw
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