The case for space: Marco Marriott details expansion proposal to public

Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff explains the proposed expansion in the hotel's existing ballroom. Approximately 200 showed up Monday afternoon to hear Medwedeff lay out the hotel's plans for expanded parking and meeting space. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff explains the proposed expansion in the hotel's existing ballroom. Approximately 200 showed up Monday afternoon to hear Medwedeff lay out the hotel's plans for expanded parking and meeting space. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

On Monday afternoon, Marco Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff invited the public to the hotel and laid out plans for expanded meeting facilities and additional parking before a full but not overflowing crowd — in a ballroom that would be torn down and replaced in the new scheme.

Approximately 200 Marco residents, including many of the “usual suspect” community leaders, movers and shakers, listened for about 40 minutes as Medwedeff laid out the hotel’s plans and then asked questions during a Q&A session. The Marriott, he said, desperately needs more space to move with the times. The proposed additions, Medwedeff said, consist primarily of two components: increased and modernized meeting space and more parking space in an open one-story parking deck to accommodate the added guests.

Margie Alberti tells of her experience with previous work on the hotel. Approximately 200 showed up Monday afternoon to hear Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff lay out the hotel's plans for expanded parking and meeting space. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Margie Alberti tells of her experience with previous work on the hotel. Approximately 200 showed up Monday afternoon to hear Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff lay out the hotel's plans for expanded parking and meeting space. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff explains the proposed expansion in the hotel's existing ballroom. Approximately 200 showed up Monday afternoon to hear Medwedeff lay out the hotel's plans for expanded parking and meeting space. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff explains the proposed expansion in the hotel's existing ballroom. Approximately 200 showed up Monday afternoon to hear Medwedeff lay out the hotel's plans for expanded parking and meeting space. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Don Ross asks a question about entry gates. Approximately 200 showed up Monday afternoon to hear Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff lay out the hotel's plans for expanded parking and meeting space. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Don Ross asks a question about entry gates. Approximately 200 showed up Monday afternoon to hear Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff lay out the hotel's plans for expanded parking and meeting space. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff explains the proposed expansion in the hotel's existing ballroom. Approximately 200 showed up Monday afternoon to hear Medwedeff lay out the hotel's plans for expanded parking and meeting space. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff explains the proposed expansion in the hotel's existing ballroom. Approximately 200 showed up Monday afternoon to hear Medwedeff lay out the hotel's plans for expanded parking and meeting space. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff explains the proposed expansion in the hotel's existing ballroom. Approximately 200 showed up Monday afternoon to hear Medwedeff lay out the hotel's plans for expanded parking and meeting space. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff explains the proposed expansion in the hotel's existing ballroom. Approximately 200 showed up Monday afternoon to hear Medwedeff lay out the hotel's plans for expanded parking and meeting space. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Responding to criticism that the plan was originally broached during the summer when many island residents are away, Medwedeff promised another meeting would be held in January, with the date and time publicized well in advance. Medwedeff said he wanted to “dispel rumors and what I see as misinformation” that has been circulated, particularly the idea the resort is turning into a convention center.

“It’s good to hear it from the horse’s mouth — and I’m the horse,” he said. He showed slides of a convention center in Tampa, with 600,000 square feet of meeting space, and one in Orlando with 2.1 million.

“Hotels don’t run convention centers, municipalities do,” he said, adding that Marco Island’s size and distance from a commercial airport made that type of business impractical.

He characterized what the Marriott wants as meeting space, and said it is vital to keep the hotel competitive in today’s market. The biggest impact, said Medwedeff, would not come during the winter months, when the Marriott already has a 95 percent occupancy rate, but during the summer, when value-conscious groups are looking for meeting venues.

Moving the work forward gained increased urgency, he said, with verbal commitment recently received for the approximately $130 million cost from the resort’s corporate management and Mass Mutual, the owner. Additional work would make the total price tag close to $150 million.

The increased height of the resort’s south tower, rising to 117 feet, would require a variance in the resort’s PUD, which currently caps the allowed height at 100 feet. Medwedeff said the new elevation would only make the hotel the 32nd tallest building on the island. The existing structure would be demolished to make room for the expanded meeting facilities. The addition of 93 additional guest rooms would bring the total number of guest rooms to 810, the maximum allowed in the Marriott’s PUD. A rooftop pool and restaurant, open to the Gulf, are also included in the plan.

Much of the controversy surrounding the projected expansion has focused on additional parking facilities, particularly the specter of a multistory parking garage east of Collier Blvd. Medwedeff presented the one-story “deck” as a compromise and a win-win for the hotel and neighbors. Tennis courts currently located across the street from the hotel will be relocated off-site, with guests shuttled back and forth as they are for golf, and the hotel will move to 100 percent valet parking for overnight guests, he said.

Altogether, parking spaces would be increased by about one third, including 28 covered spaces dedicated to community use for beach parking. In a concession to the plan’s critics, the parking deck has been lowered from a height of 12 feet to 8 feet, 8 inches through a different construction technique, and reduced its footprint from the entire parking lot to only approximately the northern half.

Medwedeff touted the economic advantage to the island, which he estimated at an incremental $46 million flowing into Marco, primarily during the offseason, and 97 new “FTEs,” full-time-equivalents or jobs.

After the presentation, comments and questions fell roughly into two categories. There were the hotel’s immediate neighbors, unhappy with expansion and warning of dirt, noise and increased traffic, balanced by community members speaking out on behalf of the Marriott as a good corporate citizen and major engine of the island’s economic prosperity.

“I believe this whole project was already on the drawing board in 2001” when the hotel last asked for expansion, said George Argyris, describing himself as a “neighbor at the south end. Medwedeff said that was not the case, and in response to another question, said “this is the last phase, the full package, and there is no walkway over Collier Blvd.”

“I found this island because of a convention here. One thing that makes Marco great is the Marriott,” Ernie Lasalle said from the audience, drawing sustained applause. Ray Champagne, like the hotel a major supporter of the Marco Island Academy, thanked the Marriott for its community involvement, again garnering a round of applause. Given the tendency of a meeting such as this one to be packed with those who are incensed about the plans, the apparent community support was remarkable.

Medwedeff said the next morning that he was delighted by the positive response at the meeting. In a best-case scenario, they hope to break ground in May, 2015, and have the project complete by December 2016.

“It’s a long planning and permitting process, and we have to work around our existing group bookings,” he said.

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Comments » 95

ajm3s writes:

"Given the tendency of a meeting such as this one to be packed with those who are incensed about the plans, the apparent community support was remarkable."

FYI, it was a sales presentation!!!!!!

Now, let us begin the process of informing the folks and to dispel this notion of misinformation. Interestingly, Mr. Medwedeff chose to make a comparison of the Marriott Marco Beach Hotel and Resort brand expansion to government sponsored convention centers, by showing "slides of a convention center in Tampa, with 600,000 square feet of meeting space, and one in Orlando with 2.1 million".

Wow! Why did Mr. Medwedeff compare his Marriott brand to that which he claims it is not. Well to the informed citizenry, we understood that it was not a publicly sponsored convention center...it is a private sponsored expansion of a resort hotel to promote convention business. There is a subtle difference but significant. Yet, Mr. Medwedeff chose to accentuate a porr comparison to highlight misinformation? Bravo!

The more appropriate comparison is to compare the Marriott Marco expansion to other Marriott Beach and Resort brands in Florida relative to meeting space.

http://www.marriott.com/hotel-search/...

And when comparing, may I suggest you review comparable beach front Marriotts with the meeting space over 90,000 sq. ft as laid out in the expansion promoted by Mr. Medwedeff. Hint: only Ft. Lauderdale approaches and exceeds that amount. And as to Mr. Medwedeff aspirations of becoming a JW Marriott, Marco Island would have more meeting room space than Miami, within that brand. Note: the JW Marriott Signature brand of which three are located in Miami with the largest at 80,000 sq. ft and one in Orlando with 100,000 sq ft. total meeting space.

Now ask yourself: "Is Marco Island the Orlando, Miami or Ft. Lauderdale wanna be?"

Marco Island is a community of approximately 15,000 full time residents! Now that is a comparison for the misinformed and informed!

ajm3s writes:

Am I too bold to ask why the Marriott cannot simply abide by the rules it established in the 21st century under a Planned Unit Development (PUD) created by the city and signed by the Marriott/Mass Mutual. Note: a PUD supersedes existing LDC and Marco Island ordinance. In essence, the Marco Beach PUD granted the Marriott/Mass Mutual the flexibility, yes flexibility to develop and expand within a defined box, defined specifically for the east side parking facility and the west side hotel resort. The agreement acknowledges future development and allows for expansion. Today, 12 years later (still in the 21 century), the Marriott refuses abide by those special considerations as means to maintain a neighbor friendly posture.

Why is the Marriott not willing to expand within the rules written in 2001? It would cost more than $130MM and could hinder corporate signing off. I do not believe they can get corporate to bite and fund a more expensive project.

So why did the Marriott/Mass Mutual create and sign a PUD in 2001? To quiet the folks so it could build a high rise condominium of the south side of its property.

I only ask the Marriott to design and build an expansion to maximize meeting room space and hotel rooms within the terms of the PUD. The PUD is very flexible by allowing the Marriott to design pretty much anything within its box.

I suggest the Marriott spend a little more to meet the conditions of the existing PUD.

Is that asking for too much? The business community awaits your commitment to this community...or is it too much to ask?

Or was the PUD agreement just a temporary pause in the never ending quest to build what I believe rivals the largest Marriotts in Florida in communities that are 10 to 100 times larger than Marco Island.

Or am I just misinformed?

God help us all.

ajm3s writes:

Correction: .....could build a high rise condominium on the NORTH side of its property.

And please disregard grammatical and spelling errors. I am writing in a fit of disbelief, that the Marriott is providing public information without informing the folks, that it can build larger meeting rooms and max out the number of rooms under the existing PUD...but it chooses to promote architectural plans that are deficient on many facets...especially those that lie outside commitments defined in the PUD.

MrBreeze writes:

ajm3s Again, correct on all accounts. What the Marriott is seeking in it's quest of the 21st century is to build as large as possible for as much revenue as possible. I do not believe the Marriott folks are bad people but they do need to realize when "enough is enough"

I like the ideas of keeping the PUD in order although I would allow the update of new building technology to be applied as a change.

Marco Island is not a large convention center town period.

captnjimbo writes:

Sounds like they listened to the major objections and came back with a reasoned modified plan. Other than needing to change some rules from yesterday's needs...who does this hurt?

WizeOlMarco writes:

in response to captnjimbo:

Sounds like they listened to the major objections and came back with a reasoned modified plan. Other than needing to change some rules from yesterday's needs...who does this hurt?

Problem, the modification is being measured relative to a proposal that exceeds and thereby violates the agreed PUD. Thus, it is a false benchmark measure to rate the proposal a 'reasoned modified plan'. Rather than using a corporate slight of hand Marriott should admit the contradiction by filing the project based on a direct modification of the existing PUD; up front, out in the open. And, persons measuring the project should do so based on fact.

Momface (Inactive) writes:

All that was done was a dog and pony show. I am surprised he did not bring in a magic act; now you see it, now you don't.

The original Marriott plans were up in the sky and had no hope of happening but hope itself. Ask for the moon and then cut back to what you want in the first place. The manager thinks we are all gullible along with his shills in the audience.

Don't tell us you weren't around in 2001 and had nothing to do with the original agreement. The deal has nothing to do with you it has to do with the Marriott Corporation.

You can be gone in no time, but the original agreement should stand on its own merits, no matter who wants to make a name for himself!

RayPray writes:

Homeowners beware!

Families going for a beach vacation want one thing.

Guys heading for some convention site expect something completely different, namely trouble!

Check out this great MGM film, American Pimp:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0179074/?...

where our patriotic pimps explain exactly how they work any convention venue..

Once there's established a convention center here on Marco, there will be scores of Ft Myers hoes & their bedizened pimps cruising up and down Collier Blvd all day & night....

Momface (Inactive) writes:

Ray,

Was not the Marriott recently selected as one of the top ten "cougar" destinations in the country for those middle aged, female, divorcees looking for some younger action?

Very interesting things in the making, I would think.

johnnycakes writes:

Lots of NIMBY in these comments. I live pretty close and it doesn't bother me. I'm with captnjimbo - seems like they heard the feedback and modified the plan. Hey neighbors - change happens. You can't stop it. Better a good corporate citizen which listens than some sleazy operator that REALLY wants young studs and cougars in town. Now if only I could find the location for that in Marco ....

marcoislander writes:

Marriot could care less about us islanders Last year their membership for marco locals to the Paradise club cost $75 and 10 drink coupons This year its $85 and 2 drinks Who do they really care about. Wont be stopping by anymore for their $15 pina coladas

1Paradiselost writes:

The Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club and Spa's popularity is being touted by an unexpected source....

"Cougar Life," a dating website that connects older women, known as "cougars" in the common parlance, and younger men, has named the Marco Marriott as one of its members' Top 10 resort destinations.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/...

Are the boys above looking for some action?

Momface (Inactive) writes:

There is and old saying, johnnycakes, that goes something like this. "They came and took one neighbor and it wasn't me. They then came and took another neighbor and it wasn't me. After a while I ran out of neighbors and they then came to take me!"

They lied to us once, what are you going to wait for?

The Marriott will do what it wants to until it is stopped and made to stand by agreements made. The manager said he wasn't here so he had nothing to do with that. That shows how much he cares about the neighbors.

Who are you to say where that will stop? By the way it is the MARRIOTT which is attracting the Cougars to Marco. I guess from your comment you now consider them a "sleazy operator"....your words young man!

26yearsonmarco writes:

Why does everyone continue to blame the Marriott for this issue when everyone knows the property is owned by Mass Mutual??

The Manager, who does many good things, is just doing his job by speaking in their behalf, and does not need to take the blame.

Konfuzius writes:

Like usual we have different groups discussing a very important subject.
First group represented and lead by ajm3s go with the facts. He and his people known everything about the very important background informations and what it means to try to change the agreed rules. Of course PUD is a major issue. And an agreement is an agreement. I can follow ajm3s in all of his points. But what are his solutions?

The second group is the bubble group represented and lead by johnnysoftcakes, august or liberator. They have no idea about what they are talking. A typical merit-less statement like this qualified this group:
" Hey neighbors - change happens. You can't stop it. Better a good corporate citizen which listens than some sleazy operator that REALLY wants young studs and cougars in town."
This groups political homeland is the tea-party nonsense based on their slogan - "With us all changes are useless!"

The third group is the money maker group represented but not lead by Eddi the mighty Issler not on this blog yet. They will make you believing that everything brings them money like STRP, Marriott, Veterans Park and other very expensive projects for the citizens are good for you. Reality, it was all good for them - Chamber, restaurant union and real estate association - never for the people of Marco Island. This people will change Marco Island in a Marriott Island Resort Destination under their controls and their rules.

The fourth group is the political group. Lead and represented by me. They want prevent Marco Island as a paradise from the creator of the world for his people. They want no dust and noise anymore. They want not 1000 and 1000 and 1000 more of convention participants coming in as swarming grasshoppers destroying this peaceful island. Yesterday I came back from Germany flying in MIAMI. Had a lot of time to look at the east coast from West Palm down to Miami.
And I think to myself, what a terrible world.
I do not like the east coast at all. And I support everybody who do not like it either.
Stay to Marco Island and change it never in Marriott Island. The only way I see to bring all different groups together is a

REFERENDUM.

Let the majority of Marco Island folks decide what they want. That is fair. All other is close to money dictatorship I not want. Money is not everything!

Konfuzius writes:

in response to 26yearsonmarco:

Why does everyone continue to blame the Marriott for this issue when everyone knows the property is owned by Mass Mutual??

The Manager, who does many good things, is just doing his job by speaking in their behalf, and does not need to take the blame.

You are member of the Johnnycake group. Mass Mutual is owner but Marriott is the operator. Mass Mutual is just writing the cheques on behalf of Marriott. The manager is paid by Marriott. He will get all bonuses by better business. Of course he is not to blame. He is doing his job. If he will not do it, somebody else will do it.
The enemy for Marco Islander is the Marriott organization. Marriott will make more and more money. Maximize income and profit. The basic of the American economy system. Just in local environments the people can stop it in this days because their is much more politics sensitivity out. People belong to the American tea-party can not understand modern America. If you like to worship false gods good for you. But not in the so called paradise! Still Marco Island. Not Marriott Island. For you West Palm or Fort Lauderdale is an alternative. Hell instead of paradise.
Ask Easy going hoe much a movement costs you to the East Coast!

Konfuzius writes:

in response to RayPray:

Homeowners beware!

Families going for a beach vacation want one thing.

Guys heading for some convention site expect something completely different, namely trouble!

Check out this great MGM film, American Pimp:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0179074/?...

where our patriotic pimps explain exactly how they work any convention venue..

Once there's established a convention center here on Marco, there will be scores of Ft Myers hoes & their bedizened pimps cruising up and down Collier Blvd all day & night....

I open your information source and found this:
"Street pimps, all of them African-American, discuss their lives and work: getting started, being flamboyant, pimping in various U.S. cities, bringing a woman into their group, taking a woman from another pimp, and the rules and regulations of pimping. The men are clear: it's about money. The women work every night, hustle hard, turn over all their earnings, and steal anything they can from clients. We meet a few of the women, who tell us what they want from a pimp. We also listen to a women who's legally employed at a Nevada brothel; we meet her White boss, a legal pimp. He and the street pimps, some of whom are now retired, make the case for legalizing the trade."
Than I open 1paradise informatuon source and found this:
"Rick Medwedeff, general manager of the Marco Marriott, said he was pleased to have made the list, while noting that the resort has also received recognition as a family-vacation spot."
That fits not together!

ajm3s writes:

in response to captnjimbo:

Sounds like they listened to the major objections and came back with a reasoned modified plan. Other than needing to change some rules from yesterday's needs...who does this hurt?

Is this about hurting someone? If we had agreements and ordinances that addressed hurt we could eliminate a significant amount of the codes and ordinances. Setbacks, height restrictions do not hurt folks, but they contribute to the overall character of a community.

I challenge your statement that the Marriott listened to the major objections.

I STRONGLY recommend you listen to the August presentation by the Marriott brought before the Planning Board. Pay close attention to the recommendations of the board and pay really close attention to the comments and recommendations brought before the board by citizens, of which some are quite eye opening..and provided solutions to meeting the Marriott's expansion while adhering to the PUD agreement.

After this sales presentation at the Marriott NOT a single recommendation was incorporated, just a reduction in overhead parking (which is still not allowed) and granting some parking areas for public use as a token of gaining public support.

In essence, an offer to provide 28 public parking spaces, if the Marriott can get out of the PUD contract of 2001...with a loading dock consisting of 6 stalls that I have yet to understand how the trailer will access from Collier. I guess backing in is the only means? Note: next time you see a facility with 6 loading docks, I believe you will be in an industrial park or commercial site with a major big box store, i.e. Cosco.

Folks, please pay attention, the only way the Marriott will comply with the terms of the PUD will be from the outcry of residents. It is the only group that can challenge their plans and ask that they meet the conditions set a mere 12 years ago. The need has not changed, only the means to address the need. It was well defined in 2001 and is still current today.

It is about truth and commitment to a community in which the 800 pound gorilla can rattle its cage and say I want more! And a business community that says it needs a bone.

Welcome to the Marco Island Circus...the animals are entering the arena and the show is about to start.

Momface (Inactive) writes:

People also have to realize if we permit the Marriott to break its 2001 agreement, how many other businesses, self interest groups, etc. will be in line with their hands out requesting agreement or restriction changes that would satisfy their needs at the expense to the community as a whole.

You should take notice of those who stood up in support of the Marriott breaking its agreement.

Once the cow is out of the barn, it will be too late.

Konfuzius writes:

Wake up folks, say NO! NO! NO!

Konfuzius writes:

in response to ajm3s:

Is this about hurting someone? If we had agreements and ordinances that addressed hurt we could eliminate a significant amount of the codes and ordinances. Setbacks, height restrictions do not hurt folks, but they contribute to the overall character of a community.

I challenge your statement that the Marriott listened to the major objections.

I STRONGLY recommend you listen to the August presentation by the Marriott brought before the Planning Board. Pay close attention to the recommendations of the board and pay really close attention to the comments and recommendations brought before the board by citizens, of which some are quite eye opening..and provided solutions to meeting the Marriott's expansion while adhering to the PUD agreement.

After this sales presentation at the Marriott NOT a single recommendation was incorporated, just a reduction in overhead parking (which is still not allowed) and granting some parking areas for public use as a token of gaining public support.

In essence, an offer to provide 28 public parking spaces, if the Marriott can get out of the PUD contract of 2001...with a loading dock consisting of 6 stalls that I have yet to understand how the trailer will access from Collier. I guess backing in is the only means? Note: next time you see a facility with 6 loading docks, I believe you will be in an industrial park or commercial site with a major big box store, i.e. Cosco.

Folks, please pay attention, the only way the Marriott will comply with the terms of the PUD will be from the outcry of residents. It is the only group that can challenge their plans and ask that they meet the conditions set a mere 12 years ago. The need has not changed, only the means to address the need. It was well defined in 2001 and is still current today.

It is about truth and commitment to a community in which the 800 pound gorilla can rattle its cage and say I want more! And a business community that says it needs a bone.

Welcome to the Marco Island Circus...the animals are entering the arena and the show is about to start.

"It is about truth and commitment to a community in which the 800 pound gorilla can rattle its cage and say I want more! And a business community that says it needs a bone."

King Marriott Kong is still in his cage. But he is awake. He is very strong. Be scared! Don't let hi out!

lauralbi1 writes:

How naïve of you bloggers. There is nothing more that I would love than to have this be a referendum issue !!! It would really show how much of a minority those opposed to this expansion are. There are those that hang their hat on the fact that the PUD should not be changed. One can review historic records from Collier County and the City and find that the majority of PUD's are amended in one way or another. I can think of a couple off the top including Pier 81, Esplanade and the PUD that Dale Glon filed.
Find another issue as this one has left the station. Yes, let's put Mackle Park and the Marriott to a Referendum vote. Probably will not happen as Council knows that the majority of Islanders are in favor of the Marriott expansion. By the way, did any of you listen?? The Marriott runs 95% occupancy during season already. The expansion is to boost off season occupancy which is good for the entire Island (except those who want to close the bridge).
Ed Issler

1Paradiselost writes:

Ed..

You said above "The expansion is to boost off season occupancy which is good for the entire Island (except those who want to close the bridge".

I'll bet it's good for your wife's business to!

Folks.... Just follow the money!

Konfuzius writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

How naïve of you bloggers. There is nothing more that I would love than to have this be a referendum issue !!! It would really show how much of a minority those opposed to this expansion are. There are those that hang their hat on the fact that the PUD should not be changed. One can review historic records from Collier County and the City and find that the majority of PUD's are amended in one way or another. I can think of a couple off the top including Pier 81, Esplanade and the PUD that Dale Glon filed.
Find another issue as this one has left the station. Yes, let's put Mackle Park and the Marriott to a Referendum vote. Probably will not happen as Council knows that the majority of Islanders are in favor of the Marriott expansion. By the way, did any of you listen?? The Marriott runs 95% occupancy during season already. The expansion is to boost off season occupancy which is good for the entire Island (except those who want to close the bridge).
Ed Issler

Eddi,

all your prophecies have one in common: They never turned to reality!
Never your STRP election majority forecast, never your asbestos statement, never your re-erection hope for Waldi. You are anytime wrong.
Why shall you correct now? You are a money man. Never a guy have responsibility for our paradise island. Now another attempt to make the island more miserableness. Who dictated your blog? The Marco Island MAFIA again? Shame on you. WE - the people - will race our voice.
Stop Marriott - preserve our paradise.
Eddi's opinion is not valuable. Like usual!

HollyChandler writes:

Oh dear, what a strange group! As a recent year-round resident I hear voices of reason, people who think of conventions (which have nothing to do with the plan anyway) where "African American pimps, hoes and cougars" cavort and some appalling spelling!

How did we all get to the island? I know how I got here - by working for over 35 years for corporations. Oh, and also by investing in companies that were trying to "maximize profits and revenue". Now that I reaped the benefits should I get all riled up over the Marriott doing the same thing?

Everyone says they've been a good corporate citizen. I've noticed that they seem to be the only company on the island with good employee benefits and career opportunities that also has some diversity in their workplace (and I don't mean only racially).

So go troll and snort somewhere else or at least don't hide behind a fake name. I say this should definitely be brought to a referendum.

Oh and I didn't even know there was a "Marco Mafia" until today - how enlightening. I'm guessing these are people who've been more successful than those mocking them from behind false names. Pathetic.

Momface (Inactive) writes:

Mr. Manager,

Please tell the whole truth before you present "facts" to the public.

First of all NOT ALL Convention centers are owned by municipalities. For example the Los Vegas Convention Center is owned and operated by the Los Vegas Sands Hotel.

Now let's try for a real definition not one you made up in your mind.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-con...

Or another definition:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conventi...

Please try to be completely honest with your statements to the public, no matter how difficult it may be.

ajm3s writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

How naïve of you bloggers. There is nothing more that I would love than to have this be a referendum issue !!! It would really show how much of a minority those opposed to this expansion are. There are those that hang their hat on the fact that the PUD should not be changed. One can review historic records from Collier County and the City and find that the majority of PUD's are amended in one way or another. I can think of a couple off the top including Pier 81, Esplanade and the PUD that Dale Glon filed.
Find another issue as this one has left the station. Yes, let's put Mackle Park and the Marriott to a Referendum vote. Probably will not happen as Council knows that the majority of Islanders are in favor of the Marriott expansion. By the way, did any of you listen?? The Marriott runs 95% occupancy during season already. The expansion is to boost off season occupancy which is good for the entire Island (except those who want to close the bridge).
Ed Issler

Oh Ed! If you review the Pier 81 and Esplanade you would understand the city created and passed an ordinance to create transfer of density from one waterfront property to another, and a separate ordinance for mixed use PUD, thereby creating mixed use waterfront on Smokehouse Bay and a high high high rise condominium in Olde Marco. If you care to read it in its entirety, it is written to allow the applicant (developer) to supersede existing land codes and ordinances for a specific use while allowing flexibility:

"PUD produced in compliance with the terms and provisions of this code and the comprehensive plan may depart from strict application of setback, height and minimum lot size requirements of conventional zoning districts while maintaining minimum standards by which flexibility may be accomplished, and while protecting the public interest...."

http://www.cityofmarcoisland.com/modu...

Please note this mixed use PUD has similar language as the Marco Island Beach PUD, in that it allows the developer "minimum standards by which flexibility may be accomplished". As for the Marriott the specific minimum standard included a height restriction and no elevated parking on east side.

I only ask the folks to understand a PUD. By definition a PUD offers flexibility relative to existing land codes and zoning conditions, BUT certain specifics are NOT to be compromised, which are typically spelled out within the terms and conditions of the specific PUD. Normally the number of restrictions are not numerous but well defined.

So again, I ask why the Marriott will not build its 92,000 sq. ft convention rooms and additional 81 rooms within the few limitations imposed by the PUD?...... I believe they do not want to spend an additional $10-30MM.

The option for the Marriott is to build the convention facility at Hammock Bay and the guests can be shuttled to the hotel at the beach for nightlife and amenities offered on the island. It works hand in hand with your recommended shuttle service provided for existing golfing patrons.

Hows that for a compromise! Yet I do not believe that was offered at the SALES presentation. I suspect Mr. Medwedeff did not want to sell that proposition because....?

ajm3s writes:

in response to Momface:

People also have to realize if we permit the Marriott to break its 2001 agreement, how many other businesses, self interest groups, etc. will be in line with their hands out requesting agreement or restriction changes that would satisfy their needs at the expense to the community as a whole.

You should take notice of those who stood up in support of the Marriott breaking its agreement.

Once the cow is out of the barn, it will be too late.

This is not letting the cow of the barn, this is the bull that impacts a host of powerful organizations, including businesses and civic groups, as well as generous financial assistance in the establishment of a 9-12 grade charter school.

I applaud private donations from both private individuals as well as corporations, but that should not be the means to influence one hotel on this island to break an agreement that quite frankly, a host of other hotels would love to have.

Note: I believe all condominiums and hotels on the west side of Collier, other than the Marriott have parking on their immediate grounds.

The Marriott will and has in the past presented architectural renderings to promote its continual effort to rescind an agreement that has specific language to limit height.

How many times do we need to hear this sales pitch?

The city has attempted to promote and maintain a small tropical town image which is well documented in its Comprehensive Plan, and other documents related to future development.

The irony of all this, a PUD is the ultimate in allowing developers the flexibility to do what they want within the confines of the area designated as a PUD, as long as they do not break the few restrictions that are clearly spelled out. PUD's by definition, supersede general zoning maps and ordinances and generally provide a statement of flexibility relative to existing zoning maps and ordinances.

That is what is the most disheartening of all! The Marriott Beach PUD is analogous to the city granting the Marriott a yard of flexibility, but it now wants inches more when the other hotels are given only inches of flexibility, as defined by zoning.

RayPray writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

How naïve of you bloggers. There is nothing more that I would love than to have this be a referendum issue !!! It would really show how much of a minority those opposed to this expansion are. There are those that hang their hat on the fact that the PUD should not be changed. One can review historic records from Collier County and the City and find that the majority of PUD's are amended in one way or another. I can think of a couple off the top including Pier 81, Esplanade and the PUD that Dale Glon filed.
Find another issue as this one has left the station. Yes, let's put Mackle Park and the Marriott to a Referendum vote. Probably will not happen as Council knows that the majority of Islanders are in favor of the Marriott expansion. By the way, did any of you listen?? The Marriott runs 95% occupancy during season already. The expansion is to boost off season occupancy which is good for the entire Island (except those who want to close the bridge).
Ed Issler

"The expansion is to boost off season occupancy which is good for the entire Island...."

For homeowners how can any of this be good, unless you desire your kids to be enticed by interloping cocoa Escalade pimps into service all the bladder-ed conventioneers lured down to this previously sedate island....

Momface (Inactive) writes:

Mr. Issler,

It is quite interesting that you use the term "naïve" referring to bloggers on this site who disagree with your's and the Marriott's self serving financial interests.

Not only do I resent that remark but I resent the fact that that mindset has been part of the philosophy of the "syndicate" in accomplishing their self serving goals in the past.

Now, once again, that insult comes to the forefront and expressed in writing, accusing those who wish to have a corporation stick with a promise which they The Marriott itself, made in 2001 in order to garner other corporate, financial, benefits at that time.

We wish to keep Marco Island as Marco Island, not a Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale or Atlantic City for that matter.

Konfuzius writes:

One more time:

The third group is the money maker group represented but not lead by Eddi the mighty Issler on this blog yet. They will make you believing that everything brings them money like STRP, Marriott, Veterans Park and other very expensive projects for the citizens are good for you. Reality, it was all good for them - Chamber, restaurant union and real estate association - never for the people of Marco Island. This people will change Marco Island in a Marriott Island Resort Destination under their controls and their rules.

Momface (Inactive) writes:

Konfuzius,

Sorry, you missed a significant part of my comments. No need to repeat yourself.

WMissow writes:

No need to apologize to Klaus, he can't read nor write. Now he claims to be a leader. A leader of one, himself.

WMissow writes:

And.....he constantly repeats what others say and claims it is his own thoughts, except for his own constantly repeated comments of his "great President Obama" repeated over and over again.

1Paradiselost writes:

He makes good points. Above he's on the mark. We have all met them during our lives.

Those greedy people who put money over everything else in life, including their own health

Just remember Ed when you die, like all of us, your hearse won't have a roof rack!

We need to remember English is a second language for Konfuzius.

I don't think many of us (including myself) would do well if we had to live, speak or write in German.

WMissow writes:

1Paradise,

Lets face it, Klaus has been dumped from these blogs several times when he blogged under his earlier names.

He thinks his opinions are an asset to these discussions, but I have been told by quite a few people that they do not bother reading the blogs because of his relentless repetition of purposefully annoying statements.

He may like it or not but this Marriott issue is being undermined by his past comments.

1Paradiselost writes:

No one blogger on Marco Island is going to change the outcome of a multi-Billion dollar corporations plans.

Let's also remember that Mitt Romney is on the board of directors of Marriott International.

Maybe we should write letters to Mr. Romney stating our opposition to the proposed expansion.

Our German friend has had 5 names that I can remember. I think he practices his English writing skills here in these blogs.

For someone who has been reading his posts since before the STRP, his writing skills have improved.

However, He does not have to respond to every post.

WMissow writes:

1Paradise,

.......and all of that has no bearing upon why he has been banned on these blogs under several of those names and why any of his present opinions could do more harm than good.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to WMissow:

1Paradise,

.......and all of that has no bearing upon why he has been banned on these blogs under several of those names and why any of his present opinions could do more harm than good.

I have no idea what you are talking islandeye? You were banned too. I was banned by activities from you and others can not handle my opinions without remove the posts or ban my blogger name. Your level of democracy and free speech is very low. How can my opinion harm? It is just an opinion. Your problem is your education level. Also very low. You do not understand. And if you count your removals and mine - you win. You believe you are a better American. You are not. You are member of the target group JFK addressed. Ask yourself what you can do for your country. You never did. So before you judge me, judge yourself.
Finally - President Barack Obama is a GREAT President. He avoid another s----- war in Syria. Be thankful that the American people made the better President decision. I am thankful and the majority of the free world too.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to WMissow:

1Paradise,

Lets face it, Klaus has been dumped from these blogs several times when he blogged under his earlier names.

He thinks his opinions are an asset to these discussions, but I have been told by quite a few people that they do not bother reading the blogs because of his relentless repetition of purposefully annoying statements.

He may like it or not but this Marriott issue is being undermined by his past comments.

"He may like it or not but this Marriott issue is being undermined by his past comments."

Unbelievable. I did not know what a powerful guy I am. I can "undermine" a multi $$$ project. Now I know why I scare some people on Marriott Island. I am an under-miner!
Do you understand how contradictory your argumentation is. On one side I am a first class idiot on the other side I am a dangerous under-miner. islandeye it is time they ban you again.

WMissow writes:

Klaus,

LOL ........you just proved my point in several ways!

Konfuzius writes:

in response to WMissow:

Klaus,

LOL ........you just proved my point in several ways!

DID I?

captnjimbo writes:

in response to ajm3s:

Is this about hurting someone? If we had agreements and ordinances that addressed hurt we could eliminate a significant amount of the codes and ordinances. Setbacks, height restrictions do not hurt folks, but they contribute to the overall character of a community.

I challenge your statement that the Marriott listened to the major objections.

I STRONGLY recommend you listen to the August presentation by the Marriott brought before the Planning Board. Pay close attention to the recommendations of the board and pay really close attention to the comments and recommendations brought before the board by citizens, of which some are quite eye opening..and provided solutions to meeting the Marriott's expansion while adhering to the PUD agreement.

After this sales presentation at the Marriott NOT a single recommendation was incorporated, just a reduction in overhead parking (which is still not allowed) and granting some parking areas for public use as a token of gaining public support.

In essence, an offer to provide 28 public parking spaces, if the Marriott can get out of the PUD contract of 2001...with a loading dock consisting of 6 stalls that I have yet to understand how the trailer will access from Collier. I guess backing in is the only means? Note: next time you see a facility with 6 loading docks, I believe you will be in an industrial park or commercial site with a major big box store, i.e. Cosco.

Folks, please pay attention, the only way the Marriott will comply with the terms of the PUD will be from the outcry of residents. It is the only group that can challenge their plans and ask that they meet the conditions set a mere 12 years ago. The need has not changed, only the means to address the need. It was well defined in 2001 and is still current today.

It is about truth and commitment to a community in which the 800 pound gorilla can rattle its cage and say I want more! And a business community that says it needs a bone.

Welcome to the Marco Island Circus...the animals are entering the arena and the show is about to start.

This post and the one about flying into Miami carry a lot of wisdom.

I now think the referendum path is best.

Excellent posting for the most part.

MrBreeze writes:

The Mariott is under pressure for convention business which plain and simple is a diagnosis of cancer for Marco Island and the residents of the island.

Conventions bring big dollars but bring big trouble and bad elements. I have seen the small scale trouble the limited tourists bring currently. Ramp that up times ten and see what that brings.

WizeOlMarco writes:

Though not now, as the project plans advance will Marco Island Civic Association (MICA) http://marcocivic.com/ have a role toward enforcing the existing Marriott PUD agreement?

Momface (Inactive) writes:

No matter what the Marriott offers to special interest groups, which in my opinion are nothing more than bribes from which support groups have formed.

The city must stand its ground and do all that is possible to prevent Mass Mutual and/or The Marriott from transforming Marco Island into nothing more than a one stop shop for pimps and prostitutes.

We already know that the Cougars have selected the Marriott for their lustful desires.

In this case it takes a city to do what is right for its residents and say enough is enough to people who only have money on their minds.

Konfuzius writes:

"We already know that the Cougars have selected the Marriott for their lustful desires."

As frequent guest of Quins and the main lobby bar for fantastic sushi I can not conform this so called "Cougars" people.

But I am agree with:

"In this case it takes a city to do what is right for its residents and say enough is enough to people who only have money on their minds."

Momface (Inactive) writes:

Mr. K.

Stick to the sushi forget about the Cougars, they are looking for younger guys.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to Momface:

Mr. K.

Stick to the sushi forget about the Cougars, they are looking for younger guys.

OK I learn I am thee wrong target group. To bad!

tikihut2206 writes:

in response to RayPray:

Homeowners beware!

Families going for a beach vacation want one thing.

Guys heading for some convention site expect something completely different, namely trouble!

Check out this great MGM film, American Pimp:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0179074/?...

where our patriotic pimps explain exactly how they work any convention venue..

Once there's established a convention center here on Marco, there will be scores of Ft Myers hoes & their bedizened pimps cruising up and down Collier Blvd all day & night....

RayPray u really r a sick person..u really think that the Marriot bringing a convention center will bring hoes as u say...really have u ever lived outside of marco....don't really think marco is hoe paradise..and if the people that come in for conventions and want to bring a lady...so what...maybe you need one!!!!

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