I am a relative newcomer to the island, living here only since 2010, and I have difficulty finding people among our 6,000 or so full time residents who have been hurt by the “lost opportunity”.
When I ask people “would your life be greatly enhanced if there were 10,600 hotel rooms available instead of only 10,000 rooms?”, not a single island resident has said “wow, my life would be so much better if there was 600 more rooms on the island.” Most island residents I know sleep in their own bed so adding more rooms would not add great joy to their life.
I have not yet met an island resident who said “there are over sixty restaurants on the island. Six more restaurants would make a tremendous difference in my life.” Personally I eat more than my share.
Where are these island residents who desire to work in housekeeping or food/beverage service but cannot find any opportunities on the island? How many people are there who think “my life would be fabulous if only new hospitality positions were created paying low wages for low skill work. They should follow people who get off the trolley to come to the island for work.
Is there some belief out there that a person’s real estate tax might go down by $1,000 and therefore they can take a world cruise or pay for all their grandchildren’s education with their tax savings. Be serious. No tax reductions will make a difference in your life.
Changes are happening around here, maybe not on a grand scale, but continuous and evolving. Maybe Sanibel or Bonita Springs would benefit from a grand resort. Fine with me. I like living here. I am a FMB resident and motel owner.
Fort Myers Beach
Editors Note: While we understand that the writer may have been utilizing hyperbole to make his point, we checked with the Chamber of Commerce on the number of hotel rooms on the beach. According to the Chamber, the Hotel and Travel Index shows 47 hotels, motels and B & B’s on Estero Island with a total of 2,091 rooms. A quick survey of restaurants and food purveyors reveals approximately 50 located within Fort Myers Beach.