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Bed Tax Delete 2 days ago, 11/26/2014 at 2:02pm

Tourist Bed TaxFort Myers Beach Leads
Tourist Tax Collection Again

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB), representing The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel, reported record-breaking tax collections for the fourth year in a row, with $33 million in tourist tax on paid accommodations for fiscal year 2013-2014, which ended Sept. 30.The new record is a 16.5 percent increase over last year’s record-breaking $28.6 million in collections.

"This is the largest increase we’ve ever seen in any given year,” said VCB Executive Director Tamara Pigott. "The combination of savvy industry partners and additional marketing dollars are paying off.”

Reports indicate that Fort Myers Beach led all municipalities in tax collections again for this past fiscal year.

Matanzas Pass Preserve Delete 3 weeks ago, 11/10/2014 at 10:31pm

Matanzas Pass PreserveA World Apart,
Right in Our Backyards

The Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve have cooked up a whole new way to enjoy the Preserve. Called the 'Moon Walk', the event is held once a month on the night of the full moon and offers a truly extraordinary escape from their normal existence as they learn to leave the garish lights of civilization behind and enter a world where they must learn to rely on their sense of smell, hearing and touch. Last Thursday night, we joined Friends' Jim and Dorothy Rodwell for the first public offering of the new program.

As the sun began to set in a vivid splash of color over the Gulf of Mexico, we met the Rodwell's and a handful of other intrepid wanderers at the amphitheater at the entrance to the Preserve, where Dorothy taught us about the three different types of twilight - Civil, Nautical and Astronomical - and how to identify each by the colors and amount of light in the sky. Then Jim lit the torches and off we went down the trail, where we spent the first twilight looking at the sky through mirrors, studying the patterns made by the trees' branches as our feet became accustomed to walking without eyes to guide them.

Sand Sculpture Delete 4 weeks ago, 11/06/2014 at 4:28pm

Sand Sculpting Championship28th Annual American Sand Sculpting
November 21-30

Largest Sand Sculpting Event in the State
Adds New Elements

The 28th Annual American Sand Sculpting Championships presented by the Seminole Casino of Immokalee, the biggest sand sculpting event in the state, is coming to Fort Myers Beach in just a few months. Running from Nov. 21 until Nov. 30, this year’s event offers even more fun for adults and children alike!

Big C Events, Pinchers Crab Shack, the Wyndham Garden Hotel on Fort Myers Beach and The Sand Lovers, all of which have been involved in other successful sand sculpting events including the World Championships of Sand Sculpting, will once again manage the event in coordination with the Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce and charity benefactors; Make-A-Wish, Teen Challenge, The Kiwanis Club, and Lover’s Key State Park.

Flippers Fire Delete 10/17/2014 at 5:16pm

Flippers On The BayFlippers Bounces Back
from Small Fire

Flippers on the Bay, the popular restaurant at Lovers Key Resort just south of the Big Carlos Pass bridge, was the focus of a lot of attention Friday morning (October 17, 2014) when a small fire led to the evacuation of diners in the restaurant. Flippers sits in a separate building from the Lovers Key Resort, separated by the resort pool.

Representatives of the resort told the Sand Paper that there was a small pinhole leak in the gas line that Chef Juan noticed and then called the Fire Department, leading to a rapid response from area fire departments.