March 21, 2023

Business Florida 2023
The Regions


Charlotte • Collier • Lee

| 11/9/2022

Tourism & Hospitality

Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor, the massive property taking shape along the Peace River and Florida’s Gulf Coast in Port Charlotte, won’t welcome its first guests until May 2023, but as of February 2022, it began accepting reservations for those anticipated stays. The property, which will be the first completely new-build resort with more than 300 rooms to open in Southwest Florida in more than 13 years, features 785 guest rooms, 60,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, 19 dining options, 11 bars, two pools, a marina, retail outlets, a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa and an 18-hole golf course exclusive to guests. A wholly owned subsidiary of Allegiant Travel Company, Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor is expected to generate at least 1,200 jobs in Southwest Florida over the next year.

The Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina, a long-time fixture in Fort Myers, is undergoing a makeover of sorts. The property has evolved from a single cottage in 1950 to a 12-acre beach resort and marina offering 195 condo-style villas, all with beach views. Scheduled updates include the kitchens, bathrooms and floors throughout.

Great Wolf Lodge South Florida, an indoor water park resort full of family-friendly attractions for all ages is coming to Naples in 2024. Highlights include: a 100,000-sq.-ft. indoor waterpark with rides and slides for every age level from toddlers to grandparents; a 62,000-sq.-ft. family entertainment center; and family-friendly themed suites with separate sleeping quarters for kids.


Life & Leisure

Lots to See and Do!
Florida’s Southwest has a little bit of everything to offer: historic downtowns, quaint shops, eclectic galleries, symphony orchestras, theaters, festivals, museums and more. In Fort Myers, don’t miss the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, and plan to spend some quality time at the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, where the animals graze among plants. Be on the lookout for natural wonders too at Sanibel Island, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades National Park.

Looking for Some Peace and Quiet?
Let’s be honest — Florida can wear you out. Too many beaches, too many theme parks, too many tourists. So here’s a thought. If you’re looking for a little solitude in Florida’s Southwest, may we suggest the tiny town of Matlacha (pronounced Mat-la-SHAY), population 582, just off the coast of Cape Coral and Pine Island? Within easy reach of all three Southwest counties, it’s a good place to fish, grab a bite to eat and browse a few shops without all the usual tourist crowds.



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Florida Trend Video Pick

The story behind Parkesdale Market’s famous Plant City strawberry shortcakes
The story behind Parkesdale Market’s famous Plant City strawberry shortcakes

Thousands make the pilgrimage to Plant City during strawberry season to eat strawberry shortcakes piled high. From January to the end of March (and if the weather cooperates, April) they line up to taste at Parkesdale Farm Market — part garden center, part produce market and part ice cream shop.


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