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Fort Myers nightclub praised by city mayor for joining the push to end gun violence downtown

Celsius Nightclub
Posted at 4:43 PM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-02 04:22:08-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Thursday, Celsius Nightclub owner Kip Notbohm said he wants to help eliminate gun violence in downtown Fort Myers.

“At 2 o’clock in the morning, the majority of the people in the city are gathered downtown,” said Notbohm.

It's an area off Main Street, where Celsius Nightclub plus several other bars are located and where city leaders said they want to eliminate gun violence.

All stemming from a late-night Aug. 14 shooting, just in the parking lot across the street from both Celsius Nightclub and several other bars.

On Thursday, Notbohm said these are some of the safety changes he has made to Celsius Nightclub, in his own words.

  • Hired 4 additional security every night we're open!
  • Added 8 additional Hi-Def cameras inside and out!
  • Added additional LED lighting to give you a brighter more elegant experience
  • Changed our format to a more upscale Miami-type vibe
  • Enforcing our dress code for guys and gals no Exceptions

The shooting back on Aug.14 has no direct link to Celsius Nightclub, but Notbohm said violent acts like that, create a bad reputation for downtown.

“I think it's getting a bad name,” said Notbohm.

Notbohm said he wants to make downtown safe for everyone.

The goal was shared by city leaders like councilman Johnny Streets and at the time, acting Fort Myers Police Chief Randy Pepitone, who spoke with us about getting businesses more involved in public safety.

Actions Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson said he wants from downtown businesses.

“This is exactly the type of business relationship we need,” said Anderson.

While several bars make up that corner on Main Street downtown, we asked Anderson if it's the sole responsibility of Celsius Nightclub to be the one to take all the burden of creating less crime in that area.

"I don't think they are taking all of the burden, they are accepting responsibility for the part that they play in this,” said Anderson.

Mayor Anderson expanded on what that role is.

“The music they were playing was attracting an element that was more prone to criminal activity," said Anderson.

Notbohm said Celsius Nightclub plays a variety of music from rap to rock 'n' roll and while music was not one of the posted changes for the club, Notbohm told me extra security will hopefully discourage the people he says go downtown looking for problems.

“Just to be honest, it's a small portion of the total people that come downtown that causes the problems," said Notbohm.

Mayor Anderson said eliminating that small portion can make a big difference downtown.

“As you see, everyone refers to the crime “downtown” well the incidence while they are in downtown, they are not downtown..they are restricted to a very small area, not even one block. it's a parking lot,” said Anderson.