FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — A major beach-front resort launched its hard opening on Fort Myers Beach Monday morning. Guests can now enjoy the Margaritaville Resort, a project nearly a decade in the making.
Alex Warren of Michigan was one of the first resort guests, getting here Thursday just in time for the soft opening.
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“It’s beautiful,” he said.
For nearly 30 years, Warren has been vacationing here on Fort Myers Beach.
It’s his first time back since the pandemic and Hurricane Ian.
“We were down here when this was getting built,” Warren said.
Officials said the newly constructed resort is giving the local economy the boost it really needs.
“Anytime you can bring more people to an area, it benefits everybody,” Jay Johnson, the President and CEO of the Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, said. “…This is the first major step of recovery for the beach.”
Local businesses are thrilled about what it could mean for them.
“We’ve been excited since they were groundbreaking and when they started to build it. We knew it was going to draw more people into the area,” Yo! Taco employee Doug Kolbjornsen said.
Margaritaville Resort will employ nearly 400 people, many of whom lost their jobs to Hurricane Ian.
It is the first property of this extent to open here in two decades.
The community said this $200 million resort is the big investment the area really needs, with more expansion on the horizon.
“I think this is the first of many hotel openings that are coming in the next six to nine months,” Johnson said.