Editorial: Marco Island ... convention center plan bodes well for economy

When we see headlines about our economy and jobs these days, we are almost afraid to look — for fear of more negatives.

A story from Marco Island these days seems to break that mold.

The landmark Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa is announcing plans to add a convention-style center across the street from the main residential towers fronting the beach.

The added 138,000 square feet would double the resort’s meetings capacity.

The center — connected to the other part of the resort via a walkway over Collier Boulevard — seeks to capture convention business that the Marriott says it is losing.

It is worth an estimated $70 million for the Marriott to try to capture via this expansion.

There is local precedent.

Other major Collier County resorts have added convention facilities and had success.

We will see how the zoning process plays out at Marco Island City Hall with such a busy project seeking to supplant a parking lot.

For now, though, we see the Marriott’s move as a step in the right direction for Marco in particular and Southwest Florida in general.

It shows the long-term vision for strength in our marketplace remains alive — and worthy of multimillion-dollar investments.

While we ought to work toward diversification of our economy beyond tourism, efforts to keep that pillar strong are important.

© 2010 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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