RSW Reports Record-Breaking March Traffic

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Need to catch up on Southwest Florida business news? No problem. Here are the top stories of the week pulled from our daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily.

Friday, April 26


During March, 1.482 million passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers (RSW), an increase of 7.4 percent compared with March 2018. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 7.4 percent compared with last year.

The traffic leader in March was Southwest Airlines with 288,142 passengers traveling to and from Fort Myers. Rounding out the top five airlines were Delta (280,584), Spirit (187,471), American (175,855) and United (142,387).

Southwest Florida International Airport had 11,202 aircraft operations, an increase of 2.7 percent compared with March 2018. Page Field saw 11,086 operations, a 31.7 percent increase from March 2018. In addition, nearly 3 million pounds of air freight moved through Southwest Florida International Airport in March 2019.

Thursday, April 25


Chico’s FAS Inc. CEO and President Shelley Broader has resigned from the company and board. Bonnie Brooks, former vice chair, president and CEO of Hudson’s Bay Co. and a current member of the Chico’s FAS Board of Directors, has been appointed interim CEO of the company, effective immediately.

Brooks has been a member of the Chico’s FAS board since 2016. She has more than 30 years of global retail executive leadership experience. Chico’s FAS has engaged Herbert Mines Associates to search for a permanent CEO and president.

The board search committee is chaired by Bill Simon, a member of the Chico’s FAS board since 2016 and previously president and CEO of Walmart U.S. and executive vice president of Walmart Stores Inc. Janice Fields, a member of the company’s board since 2013 and formerly president of McDonald’s USA LLC, and Brooks also serve on the committee.

Wendy Spencer

Wednesday, April 24


Wendy Spencer, Leadership Florida president and CEO, will deliver the keynote address at the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Annual Meeting: “Waves of Change,” held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on May 16 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. 

The evening will celebrate the year’s accomplishments and future initiatives of the Naples Chamber with more than 400 Southwest Florida community leaders.

Prior to Leadership Florida, Spencer served a five-year term as the CEO at Corporation for National and Community Service, a $1.1 billion federal agency that runs AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and the Social Innovation Fund. From 2003-2012, she served Govs. Rick Scott, Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush as the CEO of the Florida Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism, commonly known as Volunteer Florida. 

To register for the event or to learn more about the 2019 Annual Meeting, visit

Tuesday, April 23


The Community Foundation of Collier County, Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Florida Gulf Coast University and Conservancy of Southwest Florida, formalized a three-year partnership to align community resources in an effort to address issues related to the region’s changing climate.

The founding group, Growing Climate Solutions – Path to Positive Southwest Florida, will work to build a coalition of residents across key community sectors, including health, education, faith, business and the environment. The goal is to engage stakeholders through educational- and awareness-building efforts and to provide research and information that will lead to local climate solutions to sustain our communities.

The partnership is an outgrowth of climate change survey results released in February. Since then, $840,000 in philanthropic support has been donated toward a fundraising goal of $1.2 million. The partnership will hire a community engagement coordinator to oversee education and outreach efforts to engage more participants.

The coalition is partnering with ecoAmerica, a national climate leadership organization, to serve in an advisory role and help the coalition build education and outreach programs. A leadership gift from The Kapnick Foundation was also instrumental in funding this initiative.

Monday, April 22


In the Naples area, the median closed price of homes decreased 5.6 percent to $340,000 in March 2019 from $360,000 in March 2018, according to the March 2019 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS, (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island).

Broker analysts reviewing the report clarified that the median closed price decrease was due, in part, to an increase in the number of closed sales of homes priced under $500,000 during the last year. Another reason for the decrease in median home price is due to sellers pricing their homes appropriately to gauge their home’s estimated value.

The March 2019 Market Report showed overall closed sales decreased 1.7 percent to 973 in March 2019 compared to 990 in March 2018. This decrease was isolated to the single-family home market, whose sales in March 2019 fell by just 17 total sales compared to March 2018. The condominium market in March ended with 499 closed sales, the same number reported in March 2018.

To view the entire report, visit

Javier Fuller

In other news…

Javier Fuller, vice president of web development at CONRIC PR & Marketing, tells the truth about web developers. Read more here.

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