Charlotte County Economic Development Partnership

Charlotte County EDP 2021

Charlotte County Economic Development Partnership - Creating a Strategic Path to Grow Business and Cultivate a Strong Community

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H ow do businesses stick it out through all the difficulties they face and continue year after year? We went looking into one of the area's most well-known attractions, Fishermen's Village, for our answers. "Location, Location, Location!" says Patti Allen, General Manager of the complex. "In years past, a vision was cast to integrate a resort, retail shopping, and a marina, and today it is the crown jewel of Charlotte Harbor." The retail stores at Fishermen's Village continue to be family-run and several are in their third generation. Everyone enjoys the "on the water" location of this unique landmark. That same history has prompted many people to stay in Punta Gorda. "It introduced many people to Punta Gorda Isles because they came to Fishermen's Village in the first place," Allen says. "They liked what they saw, and they made Punta Gorda their new home." In terms of business retention, there is a long list of shopkeepers waiting to take over a potentially vacant store. This centralized nature of Fishermen's Village also speaks to the attractiveness of larger Charlotte Harbor area. Allen shared what most tourists are thinking all winter up north in the cold. "They just can't wait to get back where it is warm and there is water!" Because Fishermen's Village is such a draw to the area's tourists, those visitors undoubtedly stop at other business locations and spend money. There are mutually beneficial business relationships that result from tourists staying. Over the years, Fishermen's Village has continued to make renovations and remodeling a priority. "We are a tourist destination," Allen says, "so we ask ourselves how is it we can maximize our footprint here to make things happen." "We have a jewel here, and it is Charlotte Harbor." "Allegiant Airlines continues to bring more and more people to the area, and we enjoy our relationship with them. The new Sunseeker location will bring even more people who undoubtedly will visit Fishermen's Village and the broader Harbor area as well," Allen says. "People who travel to Orlando to the theme parks don't stop just at the parks, there is a larger economic impact the parks have on the surrounding area. It is the same here." As more and more people make Florida their year-round home, Allen hopes that businesses will get a boost instead of the drain that a seasonally based economy often brings. "It will be much more sustainable for small business if we don't see the seasonal slump as much as we used to." Everyone working togther can make the entire area one of the greatest year-round tourist destinations in Southwest Florida. CHARLOTTE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP Fishermen's Village in Punta Gorda is full of shops and restaurants. STEVE LINEBERRY

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