Sunday, May 16, 2021

Something for Everyone at Collier County Museums

Coastal Comments

Were you there for the newest Wawa Ribbon Cutting on U.S. 41E and Price Street? It was quite a big deal, and they even offered gasoline for $2.00 per gallon. It will be interesting to see now who will actually have the lowest priced gasoline in this area, what with WaWa, Race Trac and Murphy Oil all located so close together. The Murphy Oil station is the only Murphy Oil in this particular area, but there are four each (or about to be) of the other stations. Whenever Murphy Oil lowers their price, the Race Trac quickly lowers theirs at that particular location, to meet the price or stay 1 cent higher. The other Race Tracs in the surrounding area don’t drop their price. They almost compete with their own gas stations in that same vicinity. Soon all four Wawa stations will be open. It will be interesting to see what happens then. I believe there are more gas stations clustered in that area than any other place in Collier County! Keep a watch to see how the prices respond! There are also five car washes built or being built in that same area. The last one is next to Culvers, but the one with all the services still reigns as offering a full service car wash – Naples Car Wash, one of the oldest and most reliable car washes in town. Actually, I only know of one other full service car wash in Collier County, and it’s on Marco Island. They used to have one in the City of Naples, but it’s no longer there. Many people drive out of their way to get to Naples Car Wash just for their service! The owners work there every day right along with their employees. We’re pretty lucky to have all these fine establishments right here.

  • Well, another three-story storage unit is making its way through the approval process. It was originally approved to be an Adult Living Facility with a Memory Care component on Valley Stream Drive off U.S. 41E, (another neighborhood entrance to Old Lely) across from Culver’s Frozen Custard Ice Cream and more store. By the way, that Culver’s is ALWAYS busy! A bunch of people from East Naples Civic Association started writing to their headquarters requesting they open their second Culver’s store right here in East Naples after they opened the one on Airport Road. Their decision makers listened and came here, and we are just knocking their socks off! People never realize how many people live here and need services. When they finally take that big step… they find they should have started a long time ago because we were waiting for them! Just ask Culver’s, Outback, Carrabba’s, Eurasia, 360 Market on Bayshore or the adjoining Celebration Food Truck Park. Companies say they can’t go there… but when they take the big step, they can’t figure out what took them so long! Ok, I’m going on and on. Let me get back to the new storage unit trying to get approval to build a 1,000 unit storage facility rather than the senior housing or assisted living facility. I’ve approached the representatives about encouraging the owners to set aside a section on the first floor for services to the surrounding community for a restaurant or shoe store or sports store or children’s clothing, or men’s clothing or ANYTHING that we in the community can use because they are taking up valuable space in the line of sight from U.S. 41E that retail, businesses and a Dairy Queen could have. With all the storage units already being built around the county, and certainly in East Naples, we need a place that the people who live here can use for their family or their friends to shop, eat, play, enjoy, and I can tell you that is NOT another storage unit. Okay, I’ve said it all. The owner could have BOTH his storage units and offer a service to the community by selling ground floor space on this large and very beautiful building or leasing an area for community use. Maybe this is something we should promote?
  • Are you a museum enthusiast? I know many people on Marco Island are passionate about the Marco Island Historical Museum, displaying how Marco Island first “came alive,” and about the Calusa Indians many, many years go and then the Pioneers and finally the developers who brought Marco Island to the public with homes and hotels and more. Did you know Collier County actually has five museums they own and operate? They are located strategically around the county.
    Take for instance the “Naples Depot Museum” featuring transportation from the past, located on U.S. 41E and 10th Street in the City of Naples. They specialize in transportation from our past, such as PBA Airline (Provincetown-Boston Airline), older cars and trains and Indian canoes, etc. They even have a special side museum totally filled with train sets from yesteryear, like we had when we were kids. The children (and adults with a love for trains) can come at certain times to watch the train enthusiasts work all the trains and whistles to their delight. There is also a train ride for the children, beginning on November 1st from 10 AM to 2 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. The last train ride is at 1:55 PM. That museum also has full sized trains and an actual Club Car from the past, completely refurbished! I think someday the Friends of the Museum would like to open a little deli in that Club Car to help raise funds for the Friends of the Museum. After all, what is a Club Car for? Food of course!
    Then there’s the museum of the Everglades in Everglades City, displaying how life used to be for the pioneers and hunters and fisherman, etc. It’s a delightful little museum and is always well attended and ever so friendly.
    And how about Immokalee? They have wonderful museum right in Immokalee and once a year they have an actual cattle drive, to the delight of residents from all over the County and many who drive there from around the state!
    And I bet many of you had no idea we have a museum right on the property that houses the Government Center between U.S. 41E and Airport Road. That museum became famous for their main event, which was The Old Florida Festival, and to this day children and parents alike still ask about it, and tell us how they miss it. Hopefully the decision makers will bring it back because it was so historical, interactive and educational. They can add it back to what we have now to make an even bigger impact. And NOW they have a very new addition to their fundraising portfolio – the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Woodstock, which will be held on November 16th from 6 PM to 10 PM. This will be a major fundraiser benefiting the Collier County Museums, and a must for all residents. The Woodstock 50th Anniversary Celebration will be celebrated at the main Collier Museum at Government Center, 3331 Tamiami Trail E., 239-315-2843. The cost is $65, and tickets may be purchased online at using a credit card or pay by check to FOCCM, P. O. Box 2181, Naples, Florida 34102. Free parking, live music and dancing by The GALAXY Band, best “Woodstock Look” contest, and songs and stories by Carlene Thissen, raffle, silent auction, photo booth and lots of fun. Admission includes food and beverage. Here is your chance to be there!
  • My office is again arranging for a tour, and this time at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve at 300 Tower Road. It’s one of those hidden treasures located right before your eyes and you never see it unless you drive in. You are invited to join us on Tuesday, November 5th from 10 AM to noon, starting with a special welcome from Athan Barkoukis, the Executive Director of the Friends of Rookery Bay, followed by a 10 minute film. The group will be divided, and half will experience the Estuary Encounter Touch Tank, while the others will tour the exhibits. The Self-Exploration of the Environmental Learning Center will follow, where you’ll explore the art gallery, bridge, trail, and Nature Store for a self-guided tour. Possibly docents will assist in explanation and background. Please call Mike at 239-252-8601 to make free reservations.

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