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Beachgoers want to preserve historic look of Naples Pier as repairs continue

Naples Pier 4/18/23
Posted at 4:31 PM, Apr 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-18 19:06:40-04

NAPLES, Fla. — It’s going to take at least $1.4 million dollars to repair the historic Naples Pier after Hurricane Ian, and beachgoers said the new design needs to preserve its historic look.

“Bring it back to the way it was. I really think that would be great,” said Chris, a seasonal visitor who was spending the day at the beach with her family.

“Especially down here, this is old Naples, to keep it like that I think would be best,” said Chris.

A perspective that was seen in the data collected by a City of Naples survey, where 35.98% of the 10,653 people surveyed, said the most important component of the pier was its historic design and value.

Courtesy: City of Naples

On Tuesday during the city's Advisory Board meeting, city leaders said those numbers are being taken into consideration when designing the blueprint for the pier.

A crucial step which will be followed the next day when the city council will vote to approve a contract for a design consultant to start the repairs.

Other elements that people indicated they wanted in the survey included designated fishing locations, underwater wildlife cameras, and separate viewing locations from fishing locations.

City leaders have compared visiting the pier to an almost religious experience.

On Tuesday, it was an experience Donna Hawkins said she may not see as religious but she does give thanks for.

Hawkins created a "thank you" message from sticks scattered along the beach for her family and friends who let her vacation at their home in Naples.

Hawkins said it's also a thank you to the City of Naples for listening to the community’s desire to preserve the pier's historic look

“You can go to Orlando and stuff like that and get a updated and modern look,” said Hawkins.

On Tuesday, city leaders said once a design consultant is hired, it will be the information from that survey, that will guide design teams moving forward.

The City Council meeting to discuss a contract for a design team is scheduled for April 19 at 8:30 am.