For the record, I enjoyed five wonderful years employed in the mid 2000’s at the Marco Island Marriott, serving as Recreation Director in my latter years. Additionally, I was the proud author of an in-depth book about our island: Marco Island, Culture & History was published in 1995.
When Deltona Corporation executives Elliott, Robert and Frank Mackle Jr. created the island’s master development plan in 1964, it would differ sharply in size, scope and philosophy compared to their other Florida developments. The bold new scenario for Marco, as outlined in Deltona’s 1964 Annual Report, could not have been clearer or more telling. It stated:
“Rather than being aimed primarily at retirees, it (Marco Island) is designed for a complete range of resort and leisure living – hotels, motels, apartments and extensive areas for homes. The company expects that as the community grows, its business and commercial life will expand too, and younger working families will comprise a sizable part of the population. However, it is expected that most of Marco Island’s growth will derive from tourist activities and from the demand for second homes for vacation, weekend and other leisure use.”
More than just a sleepy retirement locale, the brothers clearly envisioned a vibrant resort/leisure community for Marco Island with tourism paramount to its overall success. We should be so lucky to have such a forward-thinking corporate citizen here like Marriott which, for decades, has championed this vital cause far beyond just bricks and mortar.