FORT MYERS BEACH
After years of delays and setbacks, a project has started construction. The Margaritaville Resort is located at the foot of the Matanzas Bridge on Fort Myers Beach.
When changes come, mixed emotions come with them. Ask any Fort Myers Beach regular what they think of the new Margaritaville Resort.
Joyce Gubi says this makes the small town feel less small. “We hate it when it gets too big, we love the way it is a small town,” said Gubi.
Jackie Diebert prefers corner shops. “I’m sure Margaritaville will be beautiful, but I also like the mom and pop locations,” said Diebert.
“Burgers and burritos, everything will be more … everything,” said Craig Gubi.
After years of delays, you can now hear the construction work. The goal is to build the 254-room resort with all of its dining and entertainment options in two years.
Deanna Minard works at Mango Rita’s on Fort Myers Beach. “You will see the sign and say, ‘Oh, is that like Jimmy Buffett?’ And I say, ‘Yeah, we hope we see him!’ “Said Minard.
Minard is one of the many people who work on the beach, leaving or moving to some of their favorite spots like the Mermaid Lounge.
“It’s just a staple that people all over the United States know about when they come to Fort Myers Beach to go to the Mermaid, so it was a sad moment,” Minard said.
Fort Myers Beach Mayor Ray Murphy will say this moment of change is necessary to keep the city going.
“It’s not the old beach anymore. It’s changing, ”Murphy said.
And people say it may be bittersweet right now, but you can catch it in Margaritaville as soon as it opens.
“We’ll get used to it. I’m sure, but you know, ”said Gubi with a laugh.
Now part of the construction comes from the city of Fort Myers Beach. The resort itself says the city’s crews are currently adding underground utility infrastructure. They do this so that they don’t have to tear up roads later.
The next goal is a quick start of construction in July.