Gulfshore Business Daily: Sept. 28

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Lead Photo: NCH (Credit: WINK News)

 

COLLIER COUNTY TOURISM ON PACE FOR RECORD-SETTING YEAR 
Collier County is on pace for a record-setting year for leisure visitation in 2021. The highest tourism tax collection in a single month in Collier’s history was recorded in April this year. That kicked off the county’s highest second quarter in history for tourism tax collection from April to July, which experienced a 24% increase over the previous record set in 2019. With a vision to be recognized as the top destination for travel in the nation, Collier’s Tourist Development Council on Monday morning unanimously approved the fiscal year 2021-22 strategic marketing plan for the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau, which has a $5 million marketing budget. The bureau’s new unique value proposition is that the area “promises an elevated coastal, cultural, culinary and ecological paradise to those with an expectation of excellence.”

 

PROFESSIONAL 41,000-SQUARE-FOOT PLAZA SELLS IN FORT MYERS
A Miami investor just bought a Fort Myers professional plaza. Carlos Marco’s company purchased Colonial Professional Plaza at 4350 Fowler Street. The plaza has a Hertz Rental Car, Quest Diagnostics and other medical-related businesses. It is mostly leased, with three vacancies, Marco said, which made the acquisition attractive to him. “We like everything,” Marco said. “We think the city has a lot of potential. We like the area for continued development. We like the direction everything is going.” Adam Palmer of LandQwest brokered the sale after signing lease extensions for many of the businesses there. “This was a big one,” Palmer said of the 41,000-square-foot plaza. “We spent a lot of time working on it to where it was enough lease absorption. We had some big blocks of vacancy that needed to be filled up. We needed to do that. “We added not only some new tenants, but we added some extensions as well.” There will be no immediate changes to the plaza, Marco said. “We’re going to leave everything as-is and make it better,” Marco said. “We’ll keep the same tenants and fill the empty spaces.” 

 

LEE HEALTH BUYS 23 ACRES ALONG PINE ISLAND ROAD FOR FUTURE EXPANSION 
The region’s largest health care system is about to get even bigger. Anticipating growth in the area, Lee Health bought nearly 23 acres of land off SW Pine Island Road near Veterans Parkway in Cape Coral for $3.7 million. While it’s too early to say what will be built on the site, the chief financial officer expects it to be similar to Coconut Point’s facility in Estero, with doctors’ offices, diagnostic testing, and other health care services, WINK News reports.

 

NCH HEALTHCARE SYSTEM RESUMES ELECTIVE PROCEDURES 
Citing the continuing decline in COVID hospitalizations, NCH resumed elective surgeries on Monday. Those who may have been recently impacted by the closure of elective surgeries can contact their doctor’s office to inquire about getting on the schedule for a procedure that may have been postponed, WINK News reports

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

PUBLIC MEETINGS HELD THIS WEEK FOR LEE COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH 
The Lee County school board wants to hear opinions from the community on who should be superintendent and what qualities the community is looking for in a school district leader. After meeting Monday night, a second in-person meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. today in the school board meeting room at 2855 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers. An online survey also will be available until 8 a.m. Oct. 7. As for the search itself, the school district plans to post the position sometime in October. Applications will be due by Dec. 13. The board plans on interviewing finalists the week of Jan. 17, WINK News reports

 

AAA: FLORIDA GAS PRICES FALL AN AVERAGE OF 3 CENTS
Florida gas prices have slowly declined the past 10 consecutive days, AAA reports. The state average is now $3.07 per gallon, after slipping 3 cents last week from the 2021 high of $3.10 per gallon. “Drivers are still paying some of the most expensive prices at the pump since October 2014,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Although gasoline prices normally decline in the fall, they remain elevated due to the high price of crude and lower fuel supplies both domestically and around the world.” The lower fuel supplies are a result of both the pandemic and Hurricane Ida’s effects on the gulf coast, according to AAA. When the pandemic struck, global and American crude producers let off the throttle. U.S. crude production rates dropped as much as 25% in 2020. About half of that had returned before Hurricane Ida struck the gulf coast. Punta Gorda is among the least expensive metro markets for gas in Florida, at an average of $2.97 per gallon.

 

SPANISH PAELLA RESTAURANT OPENS IN BONITA SPRINGS 
BCN Paella & Tapas initiated its soft opening Friday at 3401 Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs. The local family owned business plans a grand opening with music in October. For now, the restaurant is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The new restaurant is in Beach Road Plaza on the south side of Bonita Beach Road just west of U.S. 41. Its location was home to Ahana’s Bombay Grille for more than five years until the Indian restaurant relocated earlier this year to Sunshine Plaza. The menu for the Barcelona paella and tapas bar features Spanish dishes, sangria and wine with recipes and products imported from Spain. The business also caters private events and takes pre-orders for pickup or delivery. 

 

AX-THROWING BAR LAUNCHES IN NORTH NAPLES 
The Axe Lodge launched Aug. 11 at the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt in North Naples. The family owned and operated business features 10 ax-throwing lanes, a 12-tap self-service beer wall and wine. The new bar specializes in birthday and bachelor parties, corporate team-building and other special events. The lounge area offers board games and family activities such as Giant Jenga and Connect 4. The venue doesn’t serve food but food may be ordered in or brought in by guests. Reservations are encouraged but walk-ins are accepted at the Axe Lodge, 2371 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Suite 704, which fronts Airport-Pulling Road between Ninja Japanese Steakhouse and Flaco’s Mexican restaurant. 

 

CFS ROOFING SERVICES PROMOTES TWO TEAM MEMBERS TO NEW ROLES
CFS Roofing Services promoted James Admire to operations manager and John Caron to senior project manager. In his previous role, Admire was a slope division manager, responsible for all CFS Roofing Services slope roofing, including new construction and re-roof. In his new role as operations manager, Admire will manage the scheduling, installation, and completion of slope, low slope and metal roofing. Caron previously was a low slope project manager, responsible for CFS Roofing Services flat roofing, which included new construction and re-roof. As a senior project manager, Caron will oversee the project management of all divisions except service. Caron will manage the day-to-day administration of all division installations, including the slope, low slope and metal. CFS Roofing Services, a full-service roofing and mechanical contractor serving Southwest Florida, has offices in Naples and Sarasota, with its corporate office in Fort Myers.

 

HALL NAMED TO CHAIR FRSA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE ANOTHER YEAR
Tammy Hall, director of marketing and service division for CFS Roofing Services will chair the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Association (FRSA) Government Affairs Committee for a second term during the 2021-22 fiscal year as well as serving as a board member and committee member on the FRSA Affiliate Committee. FRSA is a century-old association of roofing, sheet metal, and air conditioning contractors and industry-related companies including manufacturers, suppliers, manufacturers’ representatives, roofing consultants, and others. Hall also serves as a board member on the National Roofing & Contractors Association and chairs the Government Relations Committee and participates as a committee member on the NRCA PAC and Roofing Day committee.

 

GALLOWAY, KLEIN JOIN COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Robert Galloway and Julie Klein have joined the board of directors of Community Cooperative, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating hunger and homelessness in Lee County. Galloway is the vice president of Galloway Automotive and general manager of Sam Galloway Ford-Lincoln, where the nonprofit’s annual Soup Kitchen Benefit is held each year in the dealership’s service bays. Klein is an owner of CRS Technology Consultants, a Cape Coral-based firm that designs, implements and maintains technology systems. Klein is responsible for promoting the company’s standards of excellence such as achieving community-based ethical goals and leading day-to-day operations. She has more than three decades of leadership and management experience in finance, corporate law and estate planning, commercial construction, project planning and data analysis.

 

5 NEW OASIS SENIOR ADVISORS FRANCHISE LOCATIONS opem
As the need for personal services for seniors grows across the country, so does the network of franchisees at Oasis Senior Advisors. In the past two months, the Bonita Springs-based company has added five new franchises. These include New Hampshire and northeastern Massachusetts; West Bloomfield, Michigan; Lake Norman, North Carolina; Roswell, Georgia; and northwestern Pennsylvania. Founded in 2014 by Tim Evankovich, Oasis Senior Advisors provides free, personalized assistance in finding senior living solutions for seniors and their families that best fit their needs. This includes independent living, assisted living, memory care, residential care homes, respite and more.

 

CHAMBER BUSINESS LUNCHEON TO HOST ‘DING’ DARLING LEADERS
The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce returns to its in-person business luncheon format on Wednesday, Oct. 13, featuring guest speakers Toni Westland, supervisory refuge ranger for the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island; and Birgie Miller, executive director of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS). The meeting will take place in an outdoor tent at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club on Sanibel Island starting at 11:30 a.m. Vector & Ink is sponsoring the luncheon and will be unveiling the cover for the chamber’s 2022 annual visitor guide at the meeting. The chamber business lunch is a monthly networking opportunity held at various member locations. The cost for luncheon attendance is $30 for chamber members only. Advanced registration is required to attend; walk-ins are not accepted. Attendance will be limited as per federal guidelines. Face masks are requested. Register by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8, by calling 239-472-8255 or click here. Payment is due at the time of registration.

 

TURANO JOINS MATTERHORN FIT AS PARTNER, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Matterhorn Fit, a rehabilitation and training center in Southwest Florida, appointed Kenny Turano as partner and chief financial officer. Turano is responsible for accelerating corporate development activities to drive profitable growth and scale the company to multiple locations. Matterhorn operates its headquarters in Bonita Springs and will open a second location in North Naples on Oct. 1. Turano brings 16 years of experience in both public and private equity management to his new role. He most recently served as principal at a Greenwich, Connecticut-based private equity group where he sourced and executed deals to drive growth at portfolio companies. He joined this firm after 13 years holding various investment roles at Manhattan-based fund managers.  

 

WILK JOINS EARN TO LEARN FL AS NEAR PEER COACH PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Earn to Learn Florida (ETLF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college, has named Madeline Wilk as Near Peer Coach program coordinator. Wilk will lead the agency’s Near Peer program by finding, recruiting, training and providing support for its peers and students. Wilk’s experience includes working as club manager for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and as a Girls in the Game program specialist. This organization helps girls discover their strengths and lead with confidence through active sports, health and leadership programs.

 

ESTERO HISTORICAL SOCIETY HOSTS FREE PRESENTATION OCT. 2
Most cities get established once. But for Estero, it wasn’t quite that easy. The original incorporation of Estero was in 1904, but then the town was dissolved by the state of Florida just three years later. And it took another 107 years before it became its own municipality again. What happened? And why did it take so long? These and many other questions will be answered at the upcoming presentation titled “First Incorporation of Estero,” presented by Jeff McCullers, a fifth-generation Estero resident and retired local educator. His presentation will be hosted by the Estero Historical Society at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Estero Park & Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd., inside Estero Park. Admission is free, but because a continental breakfast will be served, attendees are asked to pre-register by clicking here.

 

CHARITABLE NOTES

 

Millennial Brewing announces fifth annual Oktoberfest
Millennial Brewing Co. hosts its fifth annual Millennial Oktoberfest from Oct. 1-3 in downtown Fort Myers, featuring eight Bavarian-style beers and more. The free event, presented by Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, will take place at Millennial’s downtown Fort Myers location, 1811 Royal Palm Ave., and offer free parking on all the lots. Featured entertainment includes live music, Stein hoisting competitions, bounce houses for the kids and ax throwing for all ages. German vendors will provide food. Millennial Brewing Co. is partnering with a different nonprofit each day of the festival. Each nonprofit will have a representative onsite at a tent with information about the organization, volunteer opportunities and receive 10% of the sales for their day. The nonprofits include The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Blessings in a Backpack and Valerie’s House. For sponsorship and partnership information, email events@millennialbrewing.com.

 

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