In the past six months, Marco Island has experienced a mix of both challenges and successes. One major achievement for the community was the completion of the Marco Island Academy campus, a project that had been in the works for some time.
The city also completed renovations to Veterans Community Park and is currently putting the finishing touches on a new state of the art emergency center at the city campus.
However, the community also faced challenges, most notably Hurricane Ian, which made landfall on the island as a Category 4 storm in September. The storm caused significant damage, particularly in the form of water damage, with a storm surge of almost 5 feet. Local businesses such as Snook Inn and Boardroom Tavern suffered extensive damage, with kitchen equipment and refrigeration being lost. The storm also caused approximately $2.2 billion in damage to property in Collier County.
In addition to the destruction caused by Hurricane Ian, the Cape Romano dome homes, a beloved local landmark, collapsed into the Gulf of Mexico during the storm. The homes, which were built in 1982 but had been gradually sinking due to erosion, had already lost two of their structures during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Despite these setbacks, the community has remained resilient and has continued to work towards recovery and progress. The Marco City Council has recently heard the first reading of a rental ordinance designed to address issues related to short-term vacation rentals, and local organizations such as the Greater Marco Family YMCA and the United Way of Collier County have continued to provide important resources and support to the community.