FORT MYERS & SANIBEL
Fisherman compete with dive-bombing anhinga water birds in the “Tarpon Capital of the World,” while manatees glide past kayakers. Intimate brushes with nature attract groups to convene in Fort Myers, Sanibel and the surrounding beaches. The easy accessibility from the Southwest Florida International Airport is also helping increase bookings.
“Our airport services more than 40 major cities in the U.S. and internationally,” says Pamela Johnson, director of sales at the Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, Lee County VCB. “It’s key to our success.”
Baggage claim to the beach is about 30 minutes in Lee County. Dramatic waterfront views are captured from wide wraparound verandahs and picture windows of coastal lodging. Johnson says, “Companies concerned with value and their bottom line recognize the beauty of our unspoiled island sanctuary and diverse accommodations. Even our non-coastal properties give an immediate sense of destination.” She adds that the riverside winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are popular for educational tours and evening events.
Several area Lee County resorts have renovated their properties with upgraded technology and modernized furnishings and spaces. In October, the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs completed a makeover of their 454 guestrooms. The Hyatt’s 26 acres overlooks Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve. Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa finishes their $5 million year-long refurbishment in early 2013. The redo includes the entrance, lobby, 278 guestrooms/69 suites. The pretty 4-star Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina at the tip of Estero Island enlarged its marina and added new docking stations and locking systems to its 213 waterfront rooms.