Hotels are springing up in Collier County as developers eagerly anticipate county leaders to move forward with plans for a multi-million dollar amateur sports complex. The complex, which will be built in the City Gate area near Interstate 75 and Collier Boulevard, likely won't be ready for another year.
While a groundbreaking ceremony for the complex was held in December, construction still hasn't started six months later. But new hotels are being built in the area, many of which should be open well before the complex hosts any sporting events.
"We think that there will be at least 300 rooms in place by the time the sports complex opens," said Jack Wert, Collier County's tourism director.
He said the complex - which will include eight multi-use fields for sports like football, soccer and lacrosse - is expected to draw visitors year-round, including the typically slow summer tourism season.
"Amateur sports really includes a lot of family business, at the time of year that we really need that business," Wert said.
There's a lot that still has to happen before the complex hosts any tournaments, like choosing a contractor and naming the design firm. Collier County commissioners could vote Tuesday to finalize details of the land purchase for the 288-acre project.
"A lot of pieces are all coming together," Wert said. "But it's good to get this first step of actually getting the land purchase finalized."
Wert said that in addition to the approximately 300 rooms that should be open within a year, more hotels with an additional 300 rooms are in various stages of planning in the Collier County over the next several years.