“Marco Island or Marriott Island?” That is the only question demanding an immediate answer by every citizen and our City Council today including all of its appointed boards, representative lobbies and active interest groups. In brief, what does our community’s future portend?
For more than a year, now, news items, editorials, letters to the editor, computer blogs and cell texts, along with noticeable chatter and informal debates of concerned citizens daily, have featured various opinions and views regarding the massive Marriott expansion along both sides of Collier Boulevard.
In reality, the ultimate design which doubles Marriott’s capacity as a self-contained, comprehensive resort and spacious convention center appears as a very destructive threat to our proud, historic exceptionality as a classic Gulf Coast residential community.
Could we emerge as “Orlando South” with a major tourist-conventioneer destination replete with new and expanded meeting-exhibit-dining-luxury bedrooms-swimming pool facilities with additional above ground, tiered garage-parking-storage lots and 24-hour tennis courts? Additionally, can “We the People” of Marco Island expect newly expanded retail-service stores that will guarantee no guest will ever have to leave this self-contained giant complex? And, finally, will that pristine east-west portions of Collier Boulevard (six blocks from Maple to Spruce Avenues) be forever destroyed with its now distinctive single-homes and high-rise condo complexes which firmly illustrate Marco Island’s well-established and extraordinary exceptionality?
In surmising this future Marriott site, how can Marco Island not become Marriott Island? Thus, additionally, in this new Marriott mix are two newly Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) which guarantee the further demise of our historic exceptionality by:
n Redefining and expanding the Island Plaza Mall west along Bald Eagle to the high-rise storage facility; and
n Expanding parking and adding retail-hotel facilities at Town Center Mall.
All citizens need to call/write their concerns to:
n City Council (email@example.com; 239-389-5000; and
n The Planning Board and City Planner Joe Irvin, 239-389-5004.
Also, the Marco Island Taxpayers Association, Civic Association and Property Owners Association need to hear your voices in polls and positions to be known and communicated throughout Marco Island in the critical coming weeks as we citizens determine finally: Will it be Marco Island or Marriott Island?