FORT MYERS, Fla -- Margaritaville is coming to Fort Myers Beach, but a few businesses that have been on the island for years will be forced to find a new location. The project is planned to span both sides of Estero Boulevard near Crescent street, between the pier and the Lani Kai. That means several businesses have to get up and go. Along that road is Sunny on the Beach, a shop, tourist often frequent for clothes, souvenirs, and postcards.
Michelle Schrowe, the manager of Sunny's, is one of seven businesses that will be forced to leave because of the project and will have to either find a new place or just shutdown.
"My immediate reaction was I cried," Schrowe said. Right now, Michelle isn’t sure what will happen. "I don’t really have a plan, I’ve been offered a couple of jobs."
Margaritaville spokesperson John Gucciardo says the "Discount Liquor Store," and the real estate business have already found a new location. Gucciardo says developers have offered to help businesses if needed.
"Those who wanted to stay in business, and keep operating have been able to do so, We really see the Margaritaville resort as a huge economic boost. Not only for the resort but for the surrounding area," Gucciardo said.
Managers like Michelle explain she hasn’t been offered anything, but she’s keeping a positive mindset. "I’m just praying for our beach that this big project is going to help," she said.
Developers say the tenants in the plaza are supposed to be out by January 5th, 2020, and hope to have the resort finished by 2021.