Business leaders holding event for public input on Fort Myers Beach developments

Fort Myers Beach is growing and changing, and business leaders want to hear from you Tuesday night as construction projects like Margaritaville begin taking shape there. The main concern is how these developments are going to affect the already-present local businesses and their owners.

While new ventures like the Margaritaville Resort may be considered exciting additions, Leadership Next, the group hosting the event, feels it’s important to hear from the people they will impact. This meeting will investigate what direction Fort Myers Beach is headed in from a business perspective. Tuesday night’s gathering will also discuss water quality efforts and other common issues throughout the area.

“We always try to ask, you know, what are we interested in learning more about?” said Megan Garner with Leadership Next. “Clearly, everyone wants to know what’s going on with Margaritaville Resort. Water quality is also clearly a hot topic for us. And it’s really important for us to hear directly from the business owners, and just to hear what they have to say.”

Many believe all these new developments will bring more jobs and economic growth to the area, but others fear they will take away from the local feel. The incoming resort will no doubt attract tourists with its big name, but there’s concern among the businesses already here that it might take customers away from the mom-and-pop establishments and also bring more traffic year-round.

“I think it’s really important to hear directly from the business owners that are getting impacted, as well as the Fort Myers Beach Chamber [of Commerce], you know, they have their ear to the ground, they know what’s going on,” Garner said. “So we’re going to hear directly from them. They’ve actually had conversations with the developers, so they have great insights to tell us what’s going on, and what’s next.”

The event runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bimini Bait Shack at 17501 Harbour Pointe Drive. Attendance is free for Chamber of Commerce members and $10 for all others.

Reporter:Taylor Wirtz
Writer:Joey Pellegrino
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