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Posts from the ‘Florida’ Category

Wall Street Flees NY for Tax-Free Florida

From the New York Post today (Jan 28 2013):

“An increasing number of financial firms, especially private equity and hedge funds, are fed up with New York’s sky-high city and state tax rates and are relocating to the business-friendly climate in Florida… Florida is a state of choice,” said Thalius Hecksher, global development chief for Apex Fund Services… It’s organically grown. There’s no need to drag people down here. It’s a zero-income-tax jurisdiction.” There are other perks, too — like the fact that it was 77 degrees and sunny there yesterday. “You weigh all of the benefits for being here to those in New York, and they outweigh them every time,” said Evan Rapoport, CEO of”

We say come on down! The water is warm, the sun shines every day, and Southwest Florida is open for business.

Flipkey (Tripadvisor) Names Cape Coral Top Vacation Destination

FlipKey™, the leading vacation rental website, has revealed the top 13 vacation rental destinations for 2013 based on FlipKey traveler demand to-date, and Florida tops the list. Cape Coral FL is seventh, with nearby Naples, Marco Island, and Siesta Key also on the list.

Here’s the entire list:

Florida Tourism Setting Records

The stars seem to be aligning for Florida’s tourism industry. It’s leading the state in creating new jobs since unemployment peaked in early 2010. In part because more tourists are showing up in Florida from farther west in the United States these days. Why? Tourist officials note more people in markets like Kansas City and Colorado are opting to avoid their typical fun-in-the-sun choice — Mexico — because of the sharp increase in violence there.

Read the full story here.

Cape Coral Festival of the Arts – Jan 14 – 15

Thousands of people are expected at the 2012 Cape Coral Festival of the Arts in downtown Cape Coral. Artists from all over the country converge on Cape Coral Parkway January 14 and 15. The festival is a family event and also offers food, drink, and live music.

Visit the Official festival web site here.

Fort Myers is #3 Destination on the Rise – From TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor ranks Fort Myers the number 3 destination on the rise for 2012 citing our sugar sand beaches, cultural events, sunshine, and much more.

View the TripAdvisor blog here.

Numbers confirm: Texas is leading the way on hiring. Florida lands the No. 2 slot – The Economic Time Machine –

Numbers confirm: Texas is leading the way on hiring. Florida lands the No. 2 slot – The Economic Time Machine –

Naples Philharmonic Center – Diana Krall SOLD OUT

Grammy Award-winning jazz singer and pianist Diana Krall has mesmerized audiences around the world with her seductive voice, distinctive phrasing and captivating stage presence. Cool, poised and beguiling, Krall is one of the most original and engaging figures in jazz music today.

Diana Krall at the Phil in Naples - SOLD OUT

Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts :: Performance Details.

Operation Open Arms Does it Again

Operation Open Arms is hosting its 81st Free Wedding in on the beach in beautiful Southwest FL. Food, music, flowers, photographer, wedding dinner, 3 nights on Ft M Beach, and of course a wedding cake (compliments of Lee County Legend Elaine McLaughlin).

As required per all OOA weddings, the Groom will be dressed in appropriate military attire. Colonel Larry Ager (OOA Chaplain) will officiate at 1700HRS on the beach at Pink Shell Resort.

The real heroes of this wedding are: (Dony Lubig) Pink Shell Resort/ (Andrea) Silver Sands Resort/ Salty Sams Marina and Parrot Key/ Elaine McLaughlin, Kathy New of Rotary, Colonel/Chaplain Larry Ager, and those providing Flowers and Music.

Sharkfest 2011 Cape Harbour, Cape Coral FL.

Cape Harbour Cape Coral FLShark Fest 2011 is a family oriented, shark themed, festival & boat show. The “Are You Man Enough Shark Challenge 5” is a high stakes, big game, two day shark fishing tournament! Mark your calendar for June 24th – 26th at Cape Harbour, Cape Coral’s most prestigious yachting community.

Festival and Boat Show on Saturday & Sunday, June 25th & 26th from 10 am to 5 pm will be filled with unique crafters and vendors. There will be boats on display from local dealers. New this year is the “Kidzone”, an area filled with interactive games, rides and sharky shows for kids and kids at heart. A rock wall, bounce house and 20 foot slide will be just some of the fun. As well as a coloring contest where every entry is a winner.

Start the weekend at the kickoff party at The Joint on the pavilion of Cape Harbour. Live music, a Mechanical Shark riding contest, and last year’s Shark Challenge highlights on the Shark-Tron! This year’s party is hosted by Beasley Broadcasting’s 96 KROCK.

Learn more here:

Sharkfest 2011 Cape Harbour, Cape Coral FL.

Wells Fargo Study: Florida #1 in Job Growth Potential

Florida leads nation in job growth potential

Florida leads the nation in its potential to grow jobs, according to a new Wells Fargo report that predicts a major rebound in the Sunshine State’s battered hiring climate.

In raking states by regional competitiveness — intrinsic factors that lead employers to create jobs in that state versus others nearby — Florida scored first in the Wells Fargo study released Wednesday morning. Florida gets a boost in the rankings by tourism and hospitality industries, a natural for a state that attracts more than any other on the East Coast. But Wells Fargo also gives Florida credit for a growing “life-sciences” industry, citing both a hefty retired population needing medical care and the research dollars that come with facilities like the planned Scripps Research facility in Palm Beach County.

“The influx of new medical research facilities will help reinvigorate [research and development] growth in Florida, helping further diversify the state’s economy,” the report said. Florida was ranked as regionally competitive in 22 industries, one more than second place finisher Georgia in the Wells Fargo ranking. The high-growth sectors include white-collar fields such as finance, insurance and professional services.

“Florida is attracting a diverse group of individuals,” said Michael Brown, a Wells Fargo economist and study author. “They are in a position to expand employment amid a wider selection of industries.” [Source: Miami Herald]

The Great Florida Beach Walk Nov 6 2010

Join the world’s biggest beach rally – on Saturday, Nov. 6 – when beach-lovers across Florida hold the Great VISIT FLORIDA Beach Walk. Help show the world our beaches are as wonderful as ever – just walk a mile and upload a photo!

For More Details visit:

Be one of the Beach Walkers who helps cover every one of Florida’s 825 miles of beaches. Register through Volunteer Florida to walk one flagged mile and upload a photo you take there.

FAQs: Can I Build On a Cape Coral Vacant Lot That Has Burrowing Owls?

Answer: Yes, you can. Either and Affidavit or a Permit is all that is needed. You or your developer will need to create a protection zone or relocate the nest.

From the Cape Coral city web site:

Many people wrongly believe that nobody can build on a lot if burrowing owls occupy it. One of the key management practices in Cape Coral is the site inspection provided by the contractor prior to permitting. The contractor must submit a Burrowing Owl Affidavit with all building permits. All burrows on the project site must be reported on the affidavit.

The developer must first determine if there is any way to construct the project while maintaining a protection zone with at least a ten foot radius in all directions from the burrow entrance. Building around an owl nest is the best scenario for the owls.

If the burrow is located within the building envelope, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s policy is to issue permits to allow destruction of burrowing owl nest. In order to minimize the adverse impacts to the species when a nest is destroyed, the contractor or homeowner is strongly encouraged to place a “starter burrow” some place on the property.

Burrowing owls are one of the many treasures of Cape Coral FL. For more information about burrowing owl nests and help with staking or relocating nests (starter burrows), visit the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife.

Global Interest in U.S. Homeownership Gains – Florida Still Tops

International home buyers are increasingly attracted to property in the U.S., according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

The U.S. continues to be a top destination for international buyers from all over the world. Foreign buyers understand the value of owning a home in this country and can rely on REALTORS® to help guide them through the complex process of buying property in the U.S.

International buyers were reported in 39 states in 2010, but a slight majority of the total buyers are concentrated in Florida, California, Arizona and Texas. These four states account for 53 percent of purchases and have remained the top destinations for the past three years, with Florida and California remaining the top two destinations.

Two factors important to international clients when purchasing property in the U.S. are proximity to their home country and the convenience of air transportation. Florida typically attracts European, Canadian and South American buyers.

Lee County Florida Wants Your Business – $25 Million in Incentives

Fort Myers Regional Partnership

The Fort Myers Regional Partnership launched a new website,, as an interactive communications tool and companion element to the successful, grassroots “Together We Mean Business” campaign and $25 million in incentives to businesses.

“From world-class beaches and year-round warm weather, to affordable housing, experienced workforce and low corporate taxes, Lee County is a location that values and supports both business and life. And, now, there’s even more incentive to move to Lee County: $25 Million more, to be precise.”

If you or someone you know is looking to expand or relocate and take advantage of the incentives, the sunshine (think talent and productivity – no winter blues here!), learn more at the Together4Business web site.

Free Saltwater Fishing in Florida

From the St Petersburg Times

Gov. Charlie Crist signed an executive order Friday allowing people to go saltwater fishing without a license. The Free Saltwater Fishing Days order covers this weekend (Memorial Day Weekend) and next.

“Florida is the fishing capital of the world,” Crist said in a prepared statement. “Our beaches are clear, the fish are biting, and we invite our friends to enjoy some Florida hospitality.”

“We are not experiencing any oil impacts,” said Rodney Baretto, the commission’s chairman. “And the fact remains that Florida is open for business.”

BP Gives Florida $25M for Adverstising

Our Beaches are Open, Fishing is good!

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – May 18, 2010 – British Petroleum (BP) agreed Monday to give Florida $25 million to pay for an advertising campaign promising that the state’s beaches remain open and fishing is going strong as the company struggles to staunch a massive oil spill off Louisiana’s Gulf Coast.

Cape Coral Gulf Access Vacant Lot Update

UPDATE DECEMBER 2011. In the last Cape Coral Vacant Lot Update, we wrote about prices for high-end Direct Access (“Sailboat”) residential canal lot prices. In this December 2011 update, we cover upper-end Gulf Access lots with these characteristics:

  • Gulf Access (one or more bridges to pass under)
  • Seawall in place
  • No lift to pass over (may have a lock to pass through)

The saltwater canal lots with these characteristics are generally in the Southwest area of Cape Coral. Our analysis of recent activity included active listings, pending sales, and closed sales. We threw out some very high priced waterfront land (exceptional lake views, oversized parcels) and some very low priced waterfront parcels (frontage on a major thoroughfare, less than 80’ of seawall).

The analysis shows that the average asking price for Gulf Access canal home site is just under $150,000. The average sales price (from October 2011 through December 10th 2011) was $85,000, with over 50 lots sold in this period.

Sale prices are at 30% of the market high in January of 2006. This market has bottomed out and sales are increasing, as inventories are depleted we expect that prices will once again climb. The better locations are rapidly disappearing from the market.The lot pictured here is in the Southwest portion of Cape Coral, and sold for $84,000 in September 2011.

For more information on the types of waterfront property available in SouthWest Florida and the characteristics of each, visit Waterfront Types on

Endless Cruising Destinations from Cape Coral FL

“What kind of boating do you do?” is perhaps on of the most frequently asked questions for people in Cape Coral. Answer: The choices for short or extended cruising are dizzying. Our waterfront home is in Cape Coral, smack dab in the middle of some of the greatest boating Florida has to offer. From our home base where our ‘31 Express Cruiser is docked, it’s a short trip to enjoy casual or fine dining at waterfront restaurants and resorts in Cape Coral, downtown Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Captiva, Cabbage Key and more.

A great day out is to anchor off Fort Myers Beach, Lover’s Key Beach, North Captiva, or Cayo Costa. Naples, just two hours by boat, is one of our favorite southern route trips. We get a slip at Crayton’s Cove and stay a night or two so we have ample time to take in the renowned beaches, shopping, and dining. Traveling north there is much to explore in the beautiful beach towns of Venice, Sarasota, Tampa-St Pete, and Tarpon Springs.

For those who want to enjoy the serenity of just being on the water, there are well-documented anchorages along the entire coast. Boaters have their choice of cruising styles, either on the protected channels of the InterCoastal Waterway (ICW) or on the wide open, calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The photo above is a snap we took arriving at SouthSeas Resort on Captiva Island, another of our favorite trips whether for a day or an extended stay (top-notch marina facilities, pet friendly, BBQ grills, and a short walk to the beach).

If all of that’s not enough, there is indeed more: the Florida Keys, the entire east coast of Florida, and the islands of the Bahamas are all popular cruising destinations for Southwest Florida boaters. And for many sailors and yachtsman, Cape Coral is their home base for cruising the Great Circle or heading up the ICW to points much further north such as the Chesapeak Bay.

American Sandsculpting Championship – Fort Myers Beach

fortmyerssandsculptingThe 2009 American Sandsculpting Championship and Beach Festival continues to be one of the most popular, family-friendly events in Florida — attracting over 100,000 attendees. The annual event, now in its 23rd year, owes much of its success to the area’s natural resources, which are considered the best in the world for sand sculpting events.

The combined lineup of Master Sculptors participating this year, hold an amazing 27 World Sandsculpting Champion Titles and 18 American Sandsculpting Champion Titles.

This year’s event takes place Nov 3-8.  Click here to view the festival schedule.

Fort Myers, Sanibel Online Visitor’s Guide

From arts, to beaches and fishing, to full color photos of southwest Florida wildlife, this searchable online travel guide is brimming with useful and fun information. It’s a robust 150 pages complete with restaurant and accommodation directories, maps, and area history.

Click Here to View the Fort Myers, Sanibel Visitor’s Guide.


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