TRENDING

Weekly Roundup: June 21-25

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Photo by Christine Renard from Pexels

 

Catch up on this week’s top business news here. For daily information, subscribe to our free newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, and find archived newsletters at GulfshoreBusiness.com.

 

Friday, June 25

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REPORTS RECORD-BREAKING MAY TRAFFIC

During May, a record-breaking 946,366 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers. This increased 562% compared to May 2020 and more than 30% above May 2019. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 34.9% compared to last year. The traffic leader in May was Southwest Airlines, with 212,214 total passengers. Rounding out the top five airlines were Delta (193,971), American (124,336), United (122,108) and JetBlue (94,007). Southwest Florida International Airport had 9,203 aircraft operations, increasing nearly 175% compared to May 2020. Page Field saw 12,097 operations, a 24.7% increase compared to May 2020.

 

Thursday, June 24

FPL SEEKS STATE APPROVAL FOR RATE INCREASE

Florida Power & Light Co. is asking for a pay increase, which must be approved by the Florida Public Service Commission. The utility company is proposing to raise electric rates gradually over the next four years, eventually seeking an additional $18 per month from the average consumer. Rates could rise $10.50 per month next year. If the plan to raise rates is approved, it would take effect in January. The next step in the rate-increase process is a technical hearing in August before the PSC, which would function as a court case with witnesses and testimony. Customers are encouraged to attend one of the PSC virtual hearings to speak directly to the PSC about FPL’s proposal. Time slots are available through July 2. For information about contacting the commission’s Office of Consumer Assistance and Outreach about this case, click here.

 

Wednesday, June 23

COLLIER COMMISSIONERS APPROVE $15 MILLION IN INCENTIVES FOR GREAT WOLF LODGE

Collier County commissioners voted 4-1 on Tuesday to approve a $15 million economic development agreement with Chicago-based Great Wolf Resorts Inc. for a proposed Great Wolf Lodge indoor waterpark and a 550-room hotel project at the City Gate Commerce Park adjacent to the Paradise Coast Sports Complex in the Naples area. Commissioner Rick LoCastro was the lone dissenter on the issue. “Lots of things could go on that footprint, on that property. You guys are the right thing but I have a real problem with the $15 million of taxpayers’ money,” LoCastro said. “You are a one-of-a-kind destination, but so are we.” The lodge, which has 17 other locations in the nation, will feature a 2-acre waterpark, an indoor adventure park, themed hotel rooms, a convention center, restaurants and other amenities. The 20-acre proposed property is between the new sports park and the future Uline distribution plant, east of Collier Boulevard and north of Interstate 75’s Alligator Alley. 

 

Tuesday, June 22

FLORIDA, REGIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATES CONTINUE TO IMPROVE

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced Friday that Florida has experienced 13 consecutive months of job growth, gaining 595,000 private-sector jobs over the year and 839,800 jobs since the height of the pandemic. Florida’s unemployment rate of 4.9% has remained below the national rate of 5.8% for 10 consecutive months. Florida’s unemployment rate has dramatically lowered over the year, decreasing by 9.3%, DEO reports. The unemployment rate in the Fort Myers area remained unchanged at 4.6% in May, down from 13.9% reported in May 2020. The Fort Myers area private sector employment increased by 16,600 jobs over the year, an increase of 7.9%. The unemployment rate in the Naples area was 3.7% in May, down from 13.1% reported in May 2020. The Naples area private sector employment increased by 15,300 jobs over the year, an increase of 12.1%. The regional industry gaining the most jobs over the year was leisure and hospitality, increasing by 12,200 jobs total in the Fort Myers and Naples areas.

 

Monday, June 21

SUNSHINE ACE HARDWARE PLANS FIFTH COLLIER COUNTY STORE AT FOUNDERS SQUARE

Sunshine Ace Hardware will anchor The Plaza at Founders Square, a 48,500-square-foot retail strip of multiple units that will be in the center of the mixed-use development under construction on the southeast corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard in North Naples. Although it’s the first new Sunshine Ace in nearly 15 years, it will be the fifth location in Collier County and the 13th store on Florida’s Gulf Coast for the longtime homegrown hardware chain based in Naples. “Assuming we don’t have hiccups with the supply chain, we’re looking at opening no later than mid-2022,” said Michael Wynn, president of the family-owned company. The more than 21,000-square-foot store will be unique in that it will be the first Sunshine Ace Hardware to have a drive-thru for picking up online orders. The store will also have lockers for customer pickup convenience, a dedicated entrance for contractors and concentrations of fishing gear and commercial paint. Sunshine Ace and The Plaza will be surrounded by the other components of Founders Square: The Pointe restaurants, The Pearl apartments, Life Storage and Physicians Regional medical offices. 

 

Don’t be the last to know what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.

GET SOUTHWEST FLORIDA'S BEST VIEW OF BUSINESS STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX.

You May Also Like