November - Fort Myers Beach



November - Fort Myers Beach
The Catch
Official Publication of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce
of the day
Photo Courtesy of Lighthouse Resort Inn and Suites
By Bud Nocera — President, Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce
The current buzz on Fort Myers Beach is all about the proposed new hotel/
retail/parking development near Times Square.
conceptual plan for the development and how all the public and private
pieces of it will fit and look.
Please understand that this writer has seen
none of the concept. Nor do I want to until it
comes forward in a public forum. That public
reveal will be held Monday, November 30th at
1pm at the Florida SouthWestern State College
campus (formerly Edison Community College).
What we can be sure of is that it will be of
historic importance to this beach community.
We have heard all manner of speculation on what the project may include.
At this point in time that is just what it is: speculation. Certainly our elected
officials and key town staff may have individually been made aware of the
developer’s concepts. But our town leaders have been tight-lipped on the
specifics. This is as it should be, and as it should remain, until the project is
brought forward in its entirety on November 30th.
When I first heard that TPI Hospitality had
purchased the properties, I did not know them
from Adam’s housecat. I Googled the name
and learned they are an employee-owned company from Minnesota, owning
40 hotels under franchise flags like Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn by
Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and Holiday Inn. I called some of my old tourism
industry contacts in Minnesota and made inquiries. What I heard back was
universally good comments about the company, their hotels and restaurants,
and their corporate leadership. In the Upper Midwest TPI Hospitality is well
respected as a good corporate citizen and leaders in the hospitality industry.
Their good reputation bodes well for our beach community.
TPI Hospitality bought an aging and often empty Helmerich Plaza. The old
shopping center is one of the first sites visitors see when coming onto the
island, and in recent years it has been a sad sight. It has been prime for
redevelopment, as has the empty, county-owned Seafarer’s Mall lot next to
it. As they sit today, they do not give a good impression as an entranceway
to this island.
As I see it, here is what we have:
We have a well-respected company that has already invested many millions
in land acquisition and willing to invest many more millions in the future of
Fort Myers Beach. We have an opportunity to bring new life and a fresh new
look to an aging part of the beach at our island’s front door. We have an
opportunity to redevelop an older and underutilized property, benefiting the
community with new jobs and additional property taxes.
In short, what we have is a remarkable opportunity: one that most small
communities in America would welcome. What we do not yet know is the
It is to their credit that they have remained silent. Any one piece of the project
leaked out in advance of a formal roll-out of the plan would only serve to bring
a spotlight on only that leaked part. A bit of the plan, taken out of context to
the entire project, has the potential to galvanize opinions on just that small
part, and thus the entire proposal. That would not be fair to TPI Hospitality
nor to the local government’s review process. As curious as we all are about
this project, it is only fair that it should all be brought forward at one time.
We all have heard this project will be historic in scope and size. It will be
bring change to the north end of the island, and change is often not easy to
accept. When DiamondHead Beach Resort and Spa was brought forward it
was considered breathtaking, if not revolutionary change and was opposed
by many. Now it is a respected and accepted contributor to this beach
community. We need to remember the DiamondHead experience and grow
past the very human tendency to resist change.
We also need to remember that change is inexorably coming to Fort Myers
Beach, driven by free market forces none of us can stop, but which can be
guided by good leadership. We should consider ourselves lucky to have a
high quality hospitality industry company working with local government to
bring forward what will no doubt be a thoughtful plan for change.
The reveal of this project has been a long time coming. This island community
has been awaiting a look at it for many months. Certainly it appears from the
outside to have been a complicated project to put together. Kudos to County
Commissioner Larry Kiker, county staff, Mayor Anita Cereceda, town staff,
and TPI Hospitality for persevering in this effort. However, it is now time to
bring it all forward into the public light and begin the open governmental
review process. I urge all of our business owners and Fort Myers Beach
Chamber members to mark their calendars and attend the reveal on
November 30th.
Immediate Coverage Available!
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Richard D. Karger
Agency Principal
Office: 239-233-8264 • Cell: 239-321-4788
Fax: 239-236-0336 • [email protected]
1661 Estero Boulevard, Suite 15
Fort Myers Beach, Florida 33931
In Memoriam
[email protected]
We Know Marketing.
David Anderson, Chair | Krusty Pete’s On-The-Beach
Robb Capps, Chair Elect | Premier Florida Realty of SWFL
Fran Podraza, Vice Chair | CFS Roofing Services, LLC
Sandy Lepley, Treasurer | CENTURY 21 TriPower Realty
Bud Nocera, President | FMB Chamber of Commerce
As co-owner of Alpha Networks, Jeff was
involved with the Fort Myers Beach Chamber
of Commerce as a member, director and
volunteer. He will be missed.
Chamber Staff
Chamber Members
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Jeff Pultorak
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Bud Nocera | President
Rhonda Murray | Driector of Membership Services & Events
Doug McElheny | Internet & Social Media Manager
Pete Frye | Front Desk
Lisa Beckham | Accounting
Kathy Hanagan | Roxie
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Repairs & More
1661 Estero Boulevard, Suite 8, Fort Myers Beach, Florida 33931
239-454-7500 • Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
12680-2 McGregor Blvd
1 | NOVEMBER 2015
Fort Myers, Florida 33919
November FMBC Chamber
Luncheon Speaker
Ben Feldman
Ben Feldman is in private practice and a self-employed consultant to
Home Health Care agencies in Fort Myers. He is a member of the Tampa
Psychoanalytic Society who completed a three year postgraduate study at
the Tampa Institute for Psychoanalysis in Psychotherapy. He holds a Masters
of Social Work (MSW) degree specializing in psychiatric social work. He has
practiced with children, adults and senior adults, and worked with Hope
Hospice for two years, primarily with dementia patients and patients with
end of life issues in families. A resident of Fort Myers, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Gulf
Coast Writers Association. He owns two dogs, Toy Poodle and Bichon Friese, and is a published poet.
Member Luncheon
With Speaker Ben Feldman
Join us for lunch Thursday, November 12th, 11:30am-1pm
Charley’s Boathouse Grill | 6241 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach
Business Referral Group
This is a great way for you to network, get referrals, and support your fellow Fort Myers Beach Chamber
of Commerce member businesses. The Business Referral Group consists of about 28 members and meets
two times per month at 7:30am. The unique opportunity of being part of this group is that there is only
one business per occupation in the group. A member is chosen each meeting to be the guest speaker. The
members work together to get referrals for each other and brainstorm ideas for each other’s success. The
group is very successful and a second one will be forming soon. Currently, they are spaces for accepting a
CPA and an insurance agent. For more information, please contact Fran Podraza at 239-898-4790.
Rhea Buckland
Hurricane Bay Water Taxi
Robb Capps
Premier Florida Realty of SWFL
Donna Fagan
SPD Solutions, Inc.
John Gavin
Gavin’s Ace Hardware
Carrie Grunewald
Boys and Girls Clubs of Lee County
Captain Bubby Howell
Captain Bubby’s IsLAND Tours
Jaime Huffman
Santini Marina Plaza
Darrell Kendzior
Traction Plus
Denice Knudsen
Premier Florida Realty of SWFL
Sandy Lepley
CENTURY 21 TriPower Realty
Wanda Linatsas
Royal Scoop Homemade Ice Cream
Rhonda Murray
FMB Chamber of Commerce
Leslie McElheny
Associate Member
Fran Podraza, Chair
CFS Roofing Services
Paula Schuttera
Captain Bubby’s IsLAND Tours
R.J. Snider
Salty Sam’s Marina
Charles Stallings
Hampton Inn and Suites
Eric Tibbs
Edward Jones and Company
Megan Zelenak
Sea Gypsy Inn
Georgia Reinmuth
Paradise Advertising and Design
Roxie Volunteers Needed
Volunteer at Roxie, the Fort Myers Beach mobile information
center, and take advantage of this great and personal way to
promote your business/service directly with potential clientele!
Roxie shifts run from 10am-2pm and 2pm-6pm, TuesdaySunday—we do ask for a one four-hour shift per month minimum.
For more information,
please contact
Rhonda Murray at
Roxie Volunteers
Music ~ Art
Kids’ Activities
Donna Bates | AAA • Brendan Brindise | Brindise Group Inc.
Carolyn Crosby • Judy Cultice | Kiwanis Club
Donna Faulhaber • Sandy Hein
Captain Bubby Howell | Captain Bubby’s IsLAND Tours
Leslie McElheny • Bev Milligan | Myerside
Peg Moreland • Elaine Moses • Joanne Mufalli • Cheryl Nye
Michelle Pyle | Truly Scrumptious
Pam Schindler | Retired Military/Lee Co. Elections
Tony Scopel • Jessica Titus | Fort Myers Beach Realty
Roland Weinmann | Myerside • Debbie Whitehead
2 | NOVEMBER 2015
The 29th Annual American Sand Sculpting
Championship Mean Business!
With sculptors and sand enthusiasts arriving in less than two weeks, we have been working alongside our team of
event planners to ensure that we are prepared for the influx of visitors arriving for the 29th Annual American Sand
Sculpting Championships. The nine-day event begins November 20th running through November 29th, and is open
daily from 10am-5pm directly on our sugary sand beach in front of Wyndham Garden Fort Myers Beach and Pinchers
Crab Shack.
The American Sand Sculpting Championships are now recognized worldwide and was recently named one of the Top
10 Best Sand Sculpting Competitions in the World by USA TODAY and CNN Travel. The Fort Myers Beach Chamber
of Commerce is as proud as ever to present this event. With growth in attendance every year for the last five years,
the event means a boost for businesses island wide. Those who come to the event stay for several days to see the
amazing creations of sculptors from around the world, as well as experience all other areas and activities that our
destination offers.
The Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce and Big C Events would like to thank and recognize the Lee County
Visitor and Convention Bureau who annually support the event by allocating funds and resources to promote this great
event outside the area and across social media. Planners are again holding the Sand Sculpting Sweepstakes and have
a very aggressive social media plan in line for this month. We invite you to post and promote the event on your own
social media platforms. Please visit for content.
We invite all of our members to come out and view the beautiful sand creations. If you have not attended in the last
few years, you will be amazed at the growth and the number of opportunities that are available to promote your beach
business. We also continue to look for volunteers to assist us during the event, for more information please contact
our office at 239-454-7500.
See you on the sand!
10th Annual Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival
is a Swashbuckling Success!
The 10th Annual Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival came to a close on Sunday, October 11th after a fun‐filled weekend
on Old San Carlos Boulevard. The three‐day festival continues to prove to be one of the beach community’s most
lucrative annual festivals, bringing over 8,000 privateers and landlubbers to Estero Island over the holiday weekend.
Pirate actors, musicians, and vendors gathered for the 2015 festival sponsored by Salty Sam’s Marina. Throughout
the weekend, attendees were invited to join in a number of family‐friendly activities ranging from rides aboard the
Pieces of Eight pirate cruise, to a pumpkin pie-eating contest sponsored by Perkins Family Restaurant.
The Pirate Ball, the festival’s kick‐off event benefiting the Guardian ad Litem Foundation—20th Judicial Circuit,
which took place on October 3rd at Bootleggers Waterfront Barbeque, also appears to be an event we can expect to
return next year.
Through 2015’s festivities, event organizers were able to raise $2,500 for the Guardian ad Litem Foundation—20th
Judicial Circuit, $500 for the Bay Oaks Recreation Campus, and $500 for the Ostego Bay Foundation and Marine
Science Center.
Planning for next year’s festival and all accompanying events, is expected to start in Spring 2016.
Thank you to all of the sponsors that contributed to the success of this year’s event!
Salty Sam’s Waterfront Adventures • Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel • Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce
Yucatan Beach Stand • Lighthouse Island Resort & Suites • Smokin Oyster Brewery • Shipwreck Motel
Nervous Nellie’s Crazy Waterfront Eatery • Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise • News‐Press • Times Square Merchants
Petes Time Out • Matanzas Inn • Print Shop Ink • Diversified Yacht Services, Inc. • Island Sand Paper
Fort Myers Beach Observer/Beach Bulletin • Naples Daily News
3 | NOVEMBER 2015
Think Local, Shop Local, Buy Local, JOIN THE MOB!
Our beach community has a long reputation of coming together and lending a helping hand when our
friends and neighbors are in need. These are challenging times for our local businesses in the thick of
the construction zone and it’s up to us to give them a much needed boost.
Every Thursday, from 11am-7pm, we will MOB a business zone with our support. We invite our
community, visitors, chamber members, and friends to join in on the fun and congregation. Come have
lunch, meet after work for appetizers and a tasty beverage, bring the family down for the day, or get your
holiday shopping done a little early this year.
Thank You to Our 2015 Tapa Hop Donors!
Special Thanks to Everyone Listed Below Who Donated Prizes For Our 2015 Tapa Hop
The Event Was a Great Success Thank You For Your Generosity and Support!
60 Minute Cleaners • Must Do Visitor Guides • Bayfront Bistro • Bayside Grille • Bootleggers Waterfront Barbeque
Broadway Palm Dinner Theater • Captain Bubby’s IsLAND Tours • Captain Tony’s Fishing Adventures
Castaway’s Bar and Grill • Charley’s Boathouse Grill • Crazy Woman Kayaks • Dairy Queen Beach Treats
DeHays Automotive, Inc. • The Fishmonger Restaurant • FL Helps Foundation Back Bay Bash • Fort Myers Boat Tour
Fresh Catch Bistro • GullWing Beach Resort • Hampton Inn and Suites • Hoosiers in Paradise • iBERIABANK
Indulgence Salon • Island Hair • Jungle Golf • Key West Express • Local Color FMB • Matanzas Inn
Matanzas on the Bay • Natalie’s Skin Solutions • Nervous Nellie’s Crazy Waterfront Eatery • Parrot Key Caribbean Grill
Phoenix Salon • Pointe Estero Beach Resort • Publix • Ranalli Parasail • Residence Inn Fort Myers Sanibel
Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise • Salty Sam’s Waterfront Adventures • South Beach Grille • SS Hookers Waterfront Dining
Tanger Outlets Center • The Island Jewel • The Sea Gypsy Inn • Town of Fort Myers Beach • Truly Scrumptious
Tree Tietsort — LCM Engineering • Wyndham Garden Hotel Fort Myers Beach
The Florida Helps Foundation and Coconut Point Ford Present the
Fort Myers Beach BACK BAY BASH!
Saturday, November 14 @ Bootleggers Waterfront BBQ — Noon to 10 PM
2200 Main Street, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
- Reggae/Trop Rock -
Renee Hose
High Tide
Jeb Taylor Band
Jungle BoyZ
Plenty of Parking!!
Benefits PADLS - Persons w/Autism or Disabilities Learn to Swim
4 | NOVEMBER 2015
New Member Spotlights
locals and visitors with well-designed furniture, fun accessories, and
unique gifts in a friendly and fun atmosphere right across the street from
our beautiful beach. We pride ourselves on good design, fabulous service,
great pricing, and a great sense of humor.
The Doghouse
1400 Estero Boulevard
This is Not Just a Doghouse!
Owners and operators, Adam
Clark and Jason Unger, have
37 years of culinary, restaurant,
and service industry experience
combined. In June of 2015, an
opportunity to operate a food stand on the beach arose! “We both quit
our jobs and said, let’s do this!!!” Adam had been a bartender locally for
12.5 years and Jason held positions from chef to general manager over
the past 20 years!
“We keep the menu simple, while the specials board definitely steals the
show!!! New items are continually popping up! Our foundation for success
is built solely around the local beach community by offering affordable
prices and exciting food! We try our best to source local fresh ingredients
and support other local small businesses in the area.”
With good music, great company, and amazing food what more could you
ask for?
We encourage you to stop on in, say hello and browse a bit—you’re sure
to find something you love. Whether you’re looking for upscale furniture,
art created by local artisans, or unforgettable gifts for your home or pet.
We also host chalk painting classes and specialize in custom hand-painted
signs and furniture let us Refunk Your Junk.
Don’t forget to introduce yourself to the true owner of the shop, Brady.
Brady is our beautiful Havenese that has been coming to work since he
was 4 months old. Bring your fur baby too—we’re pet friendly!
Walmart Super Center
Melissa Simmerman, Store Manager
17150 San Carlos Boulevard
Save money and live better with our brand new neighbor and chamber
member, Walmart. The beach community is invited to attend the big
box retailer’s Grand Opening Ceremony on November 11, 2015 at
7:30am. Located at 17150 San Carlos Boulevard, the newly-constructed
super center is the ninth store to open in Lee County and has created
approximately 300 new jobs in our community. As the largest retailer
in the world, Walmart opens a world of possibilities to all members of
our community in search of fresh, locally-grown produce, groceries,
pharmacy, and general merchandise.
Salty Dog Gallery and Gifts
1901 Estero Boulevard
[email protected]
Welcome to Salty Dog Gallery and Gifts!
We are thrilled to be the newest member
of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber! Since
2006, we have been providing both our
Meetings and Events
Business Referral Group
Executive Committee Meeting
Board of Directors Meeting
Chamber Coffee Connection
Member Luncheon
Business Referral Group
November 4th at 7:30am
Hampton Inn and Suites
11281 Summerlin Square Drive
November 5th from 7:30am-9am
The Tuckaway Bagel and Wafel Cafe
1740 Estero Boulevard
Ambassador Meeting
November 5th from 9am-10am
Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce
1661 Estero Boulevard
Walmart Super Center
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
November 11th at 7:30am
17150 San Carlos Boulevard
5 | NOVEMBER 2015
November 11th at 8am
Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce
1661 Estero Boulevard
November 12th from 11:30am-1pm
Charley’s Boat House Grill
6241 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach
Speaker: Ben Feldman
Back Bay Bash
November 14th from Noon-10pm
Bootleggers Waterfront Barbeque
2200 Main Street
Mound House Museum
Grand Opening
November 14th from 9am-4pm
451 Connecticut Street
November 18th at 8am
Hampton Inn and Suites
11281 Summerlin Square Drive
November 19th at 7:30am
Hampton Inn and Suites
11281 Summerlin Square Drive
Business After Hours
November 19th from 5:30pm-7:30pm
Skye’s Restaurant
7205 Estero Boulevard, Suite 710
29th Annual American Sand
Sculpting Championship
November 20th-29th
Wyndham Garden Fort Myers Beach
6890 Estero Boulevard
October Chamber Coffee Connection
Held at GullWing Beach Resort | 6620 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach
Sandy Lepley and Curt Pickett, Century 21 TriPower
RJ Snider, Salty Sam’s Marina, Darrell Kendzior,
Traction Plus
Donna Fagan, Fagan Associates, Barbara Farrell,
IBERIABANK, Lisa Farrell
Curt Brenner, GullWing Beach Reosrt
October Chamber Member Luncheon
Held at Charley’s Boathouse Grill | 6241 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach
FMB Chamber President Bud Nocera, Author Wilson Hawthorne
Chair Dave Anderson, New Member Carla Pine of the Salty Dog Gallery
and Gifts, President Bud Nocera
Anthony DeVita & Debbie Mooneyham, BB&T Bank
October Business After Hours
Held at Island View Restaurant at Lani Kai Island Resort | 1400 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach
Alberta Day, Arbonne, Grand Prize Winner!
FMB Chair Dave Anderson, Mac McIntyre, Volunteer,
Denice Knudsen, The Closers Team of Premier
Florida Realty
Laurent Dareau, Artist, Lisa Farrell, Georgia
Reinmuth, Paradise Advertising and Design
Megan Zelanak, Sea Gypsy Inn, Ken Buhr, Amy and
Tre Gillette, Tuckaway Bagel and Wafel Cafe
Char McIntyre, Volunteer, Robb Capps, The Closers
Team of Premier Florida Realty, Peggy Patterson,
Head Pinz
FMB Chair Dave Anderson with Jason Smith-Agate,
Executive Chef, Island View Restaurant at Lani Kai
Island Resort
Donna Fagan, Fagan Associates, with Marcee
Char, Denice and special friend
6 | NOVEMBER 2015
Phone: 239-939-7093
2340 Bruner Lane Suite 100, Fort Myers, FL 33912
Phone: 239-939-7093
Crane/Bucket Truck
Street and Parking Lot Lighting
Flag Pole Installation and Lighting
Concrete, Aluminum, Steel, and Wood Poles Installed
Stadium Lighting
LED and Neon Lighting Installation and Repairs
Communication/ Data Systems Networks
Surge Protection Systems
Control Wiring, Trenching and Boring
Exhaust Fans and Motor Replacement
Surveillance Cameras
Service Panel Installations and Upgrades
Solar Electric (PV) Installation and Repairs
Tankless Water Heater Systems
One Speed Beach Cruisers
$30 Per Week
Free Delivery
Helmet, Bike Lock &
Handle Bar Bag Included
Bicycles for all ages
Lowest Rates!
Call To Schedule Delivery
Fun - N - Sun Rentals
One Speed Beach Cruisers
$35 Per Week
Free Delivery
Helmet $5 (required under age 16)
Bike Lock Included
Call To Schedule Delivery
Fun - N - Sun Rentals

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