Naples, Fla. (September 27, 2017) – The Florida Gulf Coast cities of Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City are welcoming visitors back after Hurricane Irma with the message ‘Florida’s Paradise Coast is Clear.’ Beaches, shops, restaurants and most hotels and attractions will be open for business the first week of October, with others opening soon after.
Hurricane Irma made its second Florida landfall on Marco Island. The storm tracked farther inland than expected, sparing the popular resort city from a large storm surge along the island’s four miles of crescent-shaped beach. The village of Goodland on the southeastern tip of Marco Island, along with Everglades City and Chokoloskee just to the south, took the brunt of the storm with the added impact of storm surge. Damage in those small communities was worse, where cleanup and recovery efforts are actively underway.
“Our Naples and Marco Island beaches look beautiful and now that power has been fully restored, shops, restaurants and many of our hotels are already back in business, with most others open by the first week of October,” said Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Everglades City and Chokoloskee took a hard hit from Irma’s storm surge, but even so, our ecotour and fishing guides there are ready to get back to work by taking visitors out to explore the Ten Thousand Islands coastal estuaries.”
The area’s stone crab fishermen are ready to begin setting traps in advance of Florida stone crab season, which opens October 15. The annual Stone Crab Festival will take place along the Old Naples Waterfront as scheduled October 27-29.
“This year’s Stone Crab Festival is going to be a giant welcome back party for the many visitors and seasonal residents who love our Paradise Coast region,” added Wert.
Hotels ready to welcome back visitors include the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, Marco Beach Ocean Resort, both of The Ritz-Carlton resorts in Naples, Edgewater Beach Hotel, Vanderbilt Beach Resort, The Inn on Fifth, Naples Bay Resort, Bellasera Hotel, Lemon Tree Inn, Gulfcoast Inn, Fairfield and SpringHill Inn & Suites by Marriott, the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee and many more.
Progress continues throughout the destination as the area’s top natural attractions clear damage from large trees blown over by Irma’s powerful winds. For daily updates on the status of hotels, attractions, tours and more in the destination, visitors are encouraged to visit the ParadiseCoast.com website and click on the Hurricane Irma Recovery link, which also includes a list of opportunities to help through volunteering or making financial donations to those most in need.
Whether travelers are looking for a romantic escape or family getaway, Florida’s Paradise Coast — Naples, Marco Island and the western portion of the Everglades — has an array of vacation options year-round. With more than 30 miles of soft, white sand beaches, a thriving arts and culture scene, distinctive dining, family attractions and the best of outdoor adventure, the Paradise Coast is truly a destination with it all. Located just two hours from Miami, four hours from Orlando and three hours from Tampa, the Paradise Coast is easily accessible from some of Florida’s largest cities. Travelers outside of the Sunshine State can fly into Southwest Florida International Airport, which provides nonstop service to 43 destinations on 14 different air carriers. For more information about the Paradise Coast, visit www.ParadiseCoast.com. Follow the destination on Twitter and Instagram @ParadiseCoast and #ParadiseCoast,and #ParadiseNow, and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheParadiseCoast.