, 2022-12-23 02:00:00,
Since Hurricane Ian hit with a vengeance, recovery on Sanibel Island, Florida, has progressed with the speed of the near-category-5 winds that decimated it on September 28, 2022. Upon the recent announcement that the Sanibel Causeway will reopen to all vehicles on January 2, 2023, I’ll bring you up to speed on the status of tourism on my home island of Sanibel. We’ll also explore Sanibel’s sister island, Captiva, and nearby Fort Myers Beach, which suffered more devastation than Sanibel — over $90 million in total damages by some estimates.
The announcement of the imminent removal of checkpoints on the causeway — which currently allow only island residents, business owners, workers, and registered restoration workers — came much earlier than initially anticipated. A month ago, the chamber of commerce was predicting a 6-month time frame for reopening. In the meantime, however, a number of businesses that reopened on Sanibel and Captiva, the latter of which was affected to a lesser extent, were pushing for the return of visitors.
Captiva Island Resort And Businesses Open
On November 25, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort thumbed its nose at Hurricane Ian’s attempts to destroy the 2023 tourism season with its long-running, well-loved tree-lighting tradition. Known for its joyful holiday decorations, the resort even replaced a tall palm tree at the entrance so that a…
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