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Tag: marina

Marina at Edison Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers, to open in March 2014

by on Mar.05, 2014, under Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva

FORT MYERS, FL –

More changes are coming to downtown Fort Myers. The latest includes breathing new life into a longtime hot spot along West First Street.

We toured the former Royal Palm Yacht Club – now the Marina at Edison Fort – to find out what this change means for the future of the area.

Right on the water, sits a piece of paradise. It’s been undisturbed for years.

“This is God’s greatest dining room, Southwest Florida,” said Grant Phelan with Phelan Holdings, INC.

It’s a place some claim is unlike any other.

“There is nothing as nice in Naples or anywhere else as right here in Fort Myers, and on this river,” said Phelan.

Many may remember it as the members only Royal Palm Yacht Club.

Now, it’s the Marina at Edison Ford; and ‘God’s greatest dining room’ is open to all.

“We put a tremendous amount of sweat, tears and equity into it,” said Phelan.

Phelan and his business partners gave this once staple a new lease on life.

The popular Southwest Florida Pincher’s Crab Shack is now new to downtown and set up on the second floor.

“This really does put the icing on the cake for us,” said Chris Pendleton president and CEO of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates partnered with Pincher’s Crab Shack. Pendleton says the revitalization opens new doors for the area.

“It really connects us not only to downtown and the new River District and what’s happening in Fort Myers; but it also connects us to Captiva, Sanibel Island [and] out to Fort Myers Beach,” said Pendleton.

Those that have seen the highs and lows can’t wait to see what comes next.

“We’ve been sort of excited watching this unfold – all the activity and all the beautification thing that they’ve done,” said Libby Maxwell with First Harbor Towers Condo Association.

Phelan’s goal is to turn the Marina at Edison Ford into a downtown destination.

“Let’s turn West First Street into the nicest area of downtown Fort Myers and an economic center for downtown Fort Myers,” said Phelan.

The grand opening for the marina is scheduled for the first week of March.

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Good Times Motel and Marina Now Open at Steinhatchee

by on Sep.03, 2012, under Steinhatchee

The next time you visit Steinhatchee, be sure to take a look at the latest addition to the marina/motel/restaurant scene there.  The Good Times Motel and Marina has opened in the same location as the old Gulfstream Marina, on the Jena side of the river.  The facility offers 25 motel rooms (some recently remodeled!), dockage, fuel, bait and tackle, as well as the Who Dat Bar & Grille.  The motel units include boat slips, cable TV and wi-fi.

The main gathering place at Good Times is no doubt the Who Dat Bar and Grille.  Open 7 days for lunch, dinner and late night snacks (including beer and wine), the screened-in facility has a simple menu that includes local seafood, burgers and daily specials.

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Big Bend Tour, August 1, 2012–Suwannee, Horseshoe Beach, Shired Island and Steinhatchee

by on Aug.01, 2012, under Horseshoe Beach, Steinhatchee, Suwannee

I took a few extra hours the other day to visit the coastal Florida Big Bend towns of Suwannee and Horseshoe Beach, while on the way to Steinhatchee.  These are a couple of my favorite spots, but now that my boat’s stored at the Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee, I don’t seem to get there as often as I’d like.  And it’s not a short trip if you leave Fanning Springs, go to Suwannee, then return to Old Town, travel up to Cross City and drive the 20-plus miles to Horseshoe Beach.  And then it’s a 20-mile trip back to Cross City and about another 15 to “downtown” Steinhatchee!  So, if you want to see these places in one day–plan a full day.  If you measure the distance from one to the another on a nautical chart, they’re pretty close.   But by car–it’s a different story.

Anyway, my main reason for visiting Suwannee was to scout a location for an upcoming Sportsman’s Kitchen column in Florida Sportsman magazine.  And I’d also heard that the Salt Creek Restaurant had taken up temporary residence at Suwannee Marina.  A recent fire had destroyed the old facility.  I ran into long-time guide Capt. Butch Tharpe (352-542-9376) at the marina and he filled me in over a glass of sweet tea.  Yes, the old restaurant was destroyed, and Suwannee Marina owner Allen Clark had graciously offered the use of the marina’s kitchen and restaurant space until the restaurant was rebuilt.  Butch seemed to think that it would be completed around Labor Day.  Salt Creek will be serving their usual great food on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, as well as Sunday lunch.

Instead of making the whole 24 mile trip back to Old Town plus the 9 miles to Cross City and then the 20 miles to Horseshoe Beach, I decided to take the old Dixie Main Line Road that crosses from Suwannee to the Shired Island Road, cutting lots of miles off the trip.   That also gave me an excuse to drive out to Shired Island and see the state of the boat ramp there.  The 8-plus mile Dixie Main Line is an old logging rail line that’s been graded. It crosses the headwaters of Johnson and Sanders creeks, which eventually enter the Gulf at Pine Island, south of Shired Island.  While there was no standing water on the gravel and dirt road, the roadsides were flooded with amber-colored water.  This gave me a reason to estimate that it’s going to take several more weeks for all the water to leach through the leaves and finally reach the Gulf.  It’s going to be a “brown water August” on parts of our Big Bend.   The recently-built boat ramp at Shired Island was busy and several folks were wading in the creek mouth.  I’m not sure what they caught, but the waders probably had equal access on the rapidly falling tide.  Shired’s mouth is shallow and can be treacherous if you don’t take time to explore.

Horseshore Beach was busy, as I’d expected.  It attracts lots of scallopers who make the easy run up to the Pepperfish Keys, where most of the scallops have been found so far this season.  I had a chance to visit with Jimmy Butler of Compass Realty and get a look at his rental offerings.  He has t a whole range of really nice places to rent, including condos with dockage on the canal.  I also had a chance to talk with Capt. Gary Patterson, who runs Horseshoe Beach Marina.  They’ve been busy, and Gary reports that there are still lots of RV spaces available for rent.  And despite the scalloping crowds, folks need to remember that Horseshoe Beach is convenient to some good offshore fishing, and that the oyster bars and backwater of Horseshoe Cove are hard to beat when it comes to catching seatrout and redfish.

Steinhatchee was bustling, as it always is during recreational scalloping season.  By the time I arrived restaurants were busy, and the Sea Hag was putting away the fleet of rental boats.  Most of the scallopers had run south towards Pepperfish Keys (between Steinhatchee and Horseshoe Beach), finding the water murky and dark from the runoff of Tropical Storm Debbie, that had come ashore a full 5 weeks earlier.  And the big mid-day high tide didn’t help.  This next weekend’s mid-day low tide should prove better.  I also found out that some seasoned scallopers hadn’t followed the “fleet” and had found some clear (but stained) water and lots of scallops northwest of Big Grass Island.    My advice is to head northwest, stopping every so often to take a look over the side of your boat.  Then, if the water’s clear, put a couple of divers overboard and hope for the best.  I’d sure head that way this coming weekend!

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Suwannee Marina under new ownership–and a new ‘Lounge’!

by on Nov.16, 2010, under Suwannee

When Allen Clark bought Suwannee Marina (352) 542-9159, he felt some changes were needed.   He’s now keeping the marina open 7 days a week, but also has a full service certified marine mechanic on staff.  But the best thing is the new ‘lounge’ at the marina.

Imagine coming back to the marina on a football Saturday (or on any afternoon, for that matter) and being able to sit down and watch the game (or your favorite soap opera!) on a 12-foot wide projection screen while seated in a comfortable chair.  This place is great–and as nice as any place in Suwannee.  I’m not sure about the beer ‘rules’, but know that they don’t serve alcohol.

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