Trucks, trucks, trucks will become a serious short and long term problem for Marco Island if Marriott renovates its beach resort as proposed. The initial, short term, truck problem would commence with the construction phase and continue until its final completion in 2016. Construction trucks are an annoyance but when the project is finished, they leave the construction site and the short term truck problem goes away.
However, after the construction, the more serious, long term, truck, truck, truck syndrome would commence on Collier Blvd. (and on I-75 for that matter) and would constitute an ongoing problem, with no end in sight. It would last ad infinitum.
Here’s why. The crown jewel of the Marriott renovation proposal is the vast enlargement of what they call “meeting space,” which includes a cavernous exhibit hall. Currently, the size of their meeting space is about 56,000 square feet, or larger than the size of a college football field. Their renovation proposal seeks to increase it by another 30,000 square feet. In addition to that massive floor area, they propose to increase the height of the ceiling from 10 feet to 22 feet. The finished building would be absolutely colossal and capable of accommodating convention/exhibits for the largest vendors in the country.
A few days before an exhibition, all the equipment needed to set up the elaborate floor displays must be delivered to the convention hall to be assembled and readied for showing. The delivery must be made by truck, and, depending on the size of the display, it may range from a panel truck to a full size18 wheel semi-trailer truck. Note, In such an enormous exhibit facility there may be over 100 exhibitors, which equates to twice that number of trucks on Marco streets, one time arriving and one time leaving.
During a typical 3 to 5 day show those same delivery trucks must be housed somewhere, awaiting their pick-up-and-return-home responsibility at the end of the show. Where on Marco could 100-plus trucks be stored without creating a major eyesore?
This pattern for exhibitions and truck flows could reoccur all too often, given Marriott’s reputation for aggressive marketing. For the residents of Marco Island the wear and tear on our roads and bridges would soon become a costly concern, our Island’s aesthetic beauty would be challenged by the never ending presence of trucks, and, keep in mind, our traffic congestion is heavy enough now, without adding hundreds of trucks, of all sizes, to Collier Blvd., year-round. The trade off for residents is whether or not to grant an extraordinary profit opportunity to the Marriott organization and at the same time, put at risk the quiet and tranquil Marco Island lifestyle we now enjoy, by agreeing to the introduction of an ongoing flow of trucks, trucks, trucks, forever!