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Thursday, May 11, 2023


The Ritz-Carlton, Naples to reopen July 6, plans to hire 300
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples announced plans to reopen July 6, seven months after suffering extensive damage from Hurricane Ian and temporarily cutting 591 jobs. The North Naples resort began a $50 million expansion project in 2021 that was expected to be unveiled in December 2022 before being upended by the storm. Its temporary closure came at a time during the busy season when the hotel’s revenue reached $20 million per month. As part of the reopening, hotel officials anticipate 80% of its hourly staff and 95% of its management team will return. More than 300 employees will be hired to support the beach resort and The Ritz-Carlton, Naples Tiburón golf resort. The renovation features the addition of the 14-story club-level Vanderbilt Tower. Other renovations include a newly designed lobby and a revamped poolside experience, including a resort pool for families, an adult pool, a lap pool and a hot tub, as well as updates to the resort’s 474 rooms and the addition of more than 60 suites. Three new dining experiences include vegetable-forward restaurant Sofra, Moka coffee shop and a third restaurant concept to be announced later this year. Existing restaurants The Grill and Gumbo Limbo will also reopen.

Lee Health to open outpatient center in Estero
Lee Health will open the 20,820-square-foot University Highlands Outpatient Center today just north of Miromar Outlets in Estero. The building, 19511 Highland Oaks Drive, will provide access to family medicine care, outpatient imaging, lab services and an adult rehabilitation center. Multiple clinical services will be colocated into one comprehensive service facility. The first floor includes a physical therapy clinic, lab draw station and diagnostic imaging services, including X-rays, ultrasounds, Dexa bone scans and mammograms. The second floor will be home to family medicine physician offices and will include 16 exam rooms and a procedure room.

Passidomo appoints Collier clerk to Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation executive council
Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo appointed Collier County Clerk and Comptroller Crystal K. Kinzel to a two-year term on the Florida Clerk of Courts Corporation. As a member of the executive council, Kinzel, who began her career at the Collier Clerk’s office in 2005 after serving 16 years as finance director with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, will review matters of statewide concern to clerks, including budgets and operations. The CCOC is an 11-member council composed of eight clerks of court elected by their fellow clerks and three clerks of court appointed by the state Senate, House of Representatives and Supreme Court. The members gather to discuss budgetary concerns affecting the 67 locally elected clerks of court. The executive council is tasked with evaluating court budgets submitted by each county and ensuring that resources are properly allocated to sustain court functions and services that benefit the citizens. Kinzel is also a member of the legislative committee under CCOC. The purpose of this committee is to review legislative priorities, committee hearings and bills, as they relate to clerk and CCOC activities.

New Pizza Hut location opens in south Fort Myers
Flynn Restaurant Group LLC, Pizza Hut’s largest franchisee, opened a new location at 13401 Summerlin Road in south Fort Myers. Projected to add 15 new jobs, the location will host grand opening festivities May 19. Pizza Hut locations owned and operated by Flynn Restaurant Group nearby include Bonita Springs, LaBelle and Lehigh Acres, in addition to two locations in both Naples and Port Charlotte, three locations in Cape Coral and four locations in Fort Myers. The new restaurant features the brand’s signature menu items, and its new smaller design concept is built to serve delivery, curbside and carryout customer orders. Hours are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

FGCU study shows how remote jobs affect view of mothers at work
Meagan Baskin, associate professor of management at Florida Gulf Coast University, conducted a study comparing how mothers and fathers are perceived by their supervisors in a remote work setting. The study examined how bosses rated their employees’ work performance and commitment while changing online meeting backgrounds to show no children, kids’ toys and then children, WINK News reports.

Cypress Cove community partners with TriCore Wellness
Cypress Cove life plan community in Fort Myers partnered with Naples-based TriCore Wellness to expand and optimize resident health and wellness programming. TriCore Wellness provides hybrid wellness solutions for private clubs and communities, specializing in operations, programming and staffing. It is in the Cypress Cove community daily, staffing the newly renovated fitness center and fitness programs. Staff provides on-site group fitness instruction, equipment demonstrations, personal training and nutrition support. Group fitness classes are offered Monday through Saturday. There are currently 16 classes scheduled weekly. Personal training sessions, as well as small group training sessions, are also available. TriCore will incorporate new programs each quarter, including educational presentations, small group health coaching classes, field trips such as beach walking and educational grocery store trips, app-based personalized health coaching and connected health devices integrations.

USDA to invest up to $1M for Conservation Innovation Grants
The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Florida will invest up to $1 million for Conservation Innovation Grants for urban agriculture, water conservation, carbon sequestration and soil health, Department of Agriculture officials announced. Grants between $50,000 to $250,000 will be awarded to applicants matching those funds on a dollar-for-dollar basis from nonfederal sources that can include cash or in-kind contributions. U.S.-based, nonfederal entities and individuals are eligible to apply for projects carried out in Florida. Up to 10% of funds are for proposals from historically underserved producers, veteran farmers or ranchers or community-based organizations representing these entities. The deadline to submit a proposal for this CIG grant funding opportunity is July 14. For more information, click here.

Lee County School Board votes on Fort Myers Beach Elementary’s future
Lee County will work with the town of Fort Myers Beach to reopen Fort Myers Beach Elementary after it was severely damaged by Hurricane Ian. The agreement approved by the Lee County School Board requires the school to increase its current enrollment from about 52 students to 150 during the next four years, WINK News reports.

Naples Chamber to host annual meeting reception May 25
Greater Naples Chamber will host its annual meeting reception and awards recognition at 5:30 p.m. May 25 at Arthrex One Auditorium, 1 Arthrex Way in North Naples. Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo will be in attendance to provide her assessment of the recently completed legislative session and what to expect during the next year. The chamber will be recognizing several individuals for different awards, including Chamber Ambassador of the Year and Chamber Chairman’s Awards, the Leadership Collier Foundation’s Distinguished Alumni of the Year, Youth Leadership Collier Distinguished Alumni of the Year, Legacy Award for Individuals and Volunteer of the Year. The cost to attend is $150. To register, click here.

Baby Basics receives $3K grant from Collier Community Foundation
Baby Basics of Collier County accepted a $3,000 grant from the Marco Island Community Fund of the Collier Community Foundation, which will fund more than a year’s worth of diapers for six babies in need.

The July Tourism & Hospitality Issue of Gulfshore Business will feature our Guide to Country Clubs & Golf Communities special advertising section. Southwest Florida is a golfer’s paradise with some of the very best private and public courses in the country to choose from. Whether our readers are interested in a country club membership for their business or considering living in a golf community, the area is filled with countless options to satisfy their passion for a golf lifestyle. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to promote your Southwest Florida-based country club or golf community and their various amenities to the more than 35,000 monthly readers of Gulfshore Business. For advertising inquiries, please contact Associate Publisher Chris Renstrom at 239-498-8517 or

A story of sand
The cost, stakes and logistics of repairing damage to SWFL beaches
First resort
Naples existence and history rooted in paradise retreat

Women in Business 2023
Whether through professional desire, personal experience or some combination of both, this year's honorees have all forged their own career path.

A rash of raised rates
Why property insurance premiums are so high in SWFL—and may soon stabilize

For banner advertising rates and information on Gulfshore Business Daily and, please contact associate publisher Chris Renstrom, 239.498.8517, or

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