Monday, September 28, 2020

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

 

 

Marriott Marco Beach Resort Expansion

On Friday, August 2nd, Mr. Rick Medwedeff, General Manager of the Marriott’s Marco Beach Resort, made public the proposal for expansion of the hotel facilities at the City of Marco Island Planning Board meeting. Owning and operating a small business on Marco Island, as well as residing on Marco for over 30 years, I would like to establish my full support and address several issues of the hotel’s proposed expansion.

To begin, the benefits of additional rooms as well as expanded meeting space to enhance business during the shoulder and off-season months is clearly evident. The positive impact of the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort to the community is simple. It is greatly due to the Marriott’s success, that we have been able to support a variety of businesses to thrive on Marco Island. Remembering, these are the businesses that visitors and residents alike frequent. Without the Marriott’s success many businesses would not be able to survive the shoulder and off-season months. Generating additional visitors during these off-season months would be most welcome by all businesses. Currently, a large number of businesses must close during summer and early fall due to the lack of visitors and seasonal residents on the island.

It has been publicized that some have taken an opposing position before the public presentation occurred. As a full time, informed resident, I would encourage all my fellow seasonal and full-time islanders to carefully review the particulars to the Marriott’s proposed expansion before voicing an opinion. It is only through accurate information and mutual communication that one can fully evaluate and come to an “informed position” on this proposal.

The Marriott has always held to the highest standards we all expect from this premier property. Not once has the Marriott Corporation ever chosen an endeavor that has been to the detriment of the island. It has also been my personal experience to enjoy many improvements and facilities the Marriott offers. Many of my fellow islanders and I have frequented Quinn’s on the Beach, Tropics buffet breakfast, Kurrents Restaurant, Koral’s Sushi Bar, and the beautiful Balinese Spa. These facilities are open to the public, and are fully enjoyed by all who experience them. They are just a few examples of enhancements the Marriott has chosen to create and have done so quite successfully.

Additionally, the tax base generated through the Marco Island Marriott is extremely beneficial. Let us also remember that the Marriott has always been a supportive partner to the Marco Island community. The Marriott has partnered with the community through its support of the Marco Island Charter Middle School, Marco Island Academy, the Marco Island YMCA, the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce Events, the Marco Island Beach Renourishment Project, as well as the Harry Chapin Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and the Marco Island Chapter of The American Cancer Society. The list is endless.

Therefore, for those of you in need of information please reach out to the Marco Island Marriott’s executives requesting an accurate report of their proposal. For those of you who are in support of this proposal: let your voices be heard, as this is not the time to remain silent.

Respectively submitted,
– Sandy S. Franchino

 

Pedestrian Safety

As a former member of Marco’s Planning Board for 7 years and Chairman thereof for 3 years, I have noted with interest the Marriott’s latest expansion plan.

During my tenure on the Board, we reviewed several prior Marriott plans that were approved by Council as submitted despite the Board’s expressed concerns regarding customer, employee and subcontractor walking traffic crossing Collier Blvd. and the affect it would have. We were very concerned about safety for those crossing the road and the potential liability for drivers.

I believe that, with the latest proposed expansion of parking and a new parking deck, the City should require Marriott to provide one or more pedestrian overpasses from the 2nd level of the new facility on the East side to the West side and resort. I note that the Marriott states they will provide valet parking for all its arriving customers, but no mention is made of employee, subcontractor, and departing guest pedestrian traffic. As a reminder, when the Esplanade development plan was introduced/approved they were required to provide valet parking and that never materialized.

Marco property owners should insist on pedestrian overpasses as one of the conditions for approval of the new Marriott plan.

– Everett H. Van Hoesen, Naples, FL

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