In the past year, Charlotte County has been blessed with several monumental events in economic development. With the College of Aviation at Western Michigan University signing a deal to create a Florida footprint here, we can project exponential improvements in workforce quality. That’s because the College – one of the top three aviation schools in the U.S. – currently awards degrees in pilot training with future plans for degrees in aviation maintenance technology.
Aviation mechanics are highly valued in a wide range of industries, particularly manufacturing, and that will make Charlotte County a more attractive and strategic destination for relocating and expanding companies. The presence of the College will help drive growth in Charlotte County’s expanding cluster of aviation-related companies, along with the expansion of Interstate Airport Park, the county’s largest business park.
In May, Governor Rick Scott announced that Charlotte County will receive an $800,000 grant from the Florida Job Growth Fund. Charlotte County is one of only six entities to receive this grant from a pool of over 250 applicants. The funds will provide critical water line infrastructure to help complete the $8 million Piper Road Extension Project, designed to drive growth near Punta Gorda Interstate Airport Park. In addition to a beautiful new entrance on Piper Road North, this project will create approximately 100 acres of prime industrial zoned property with an estimated 500,000 square feet of tax base – and most importantly, over 1,400 projected new jobs for the local economy. In July, there was another big win in workforce development as Florida SouthWestern State College and Cheney Brothers were awarded a $524,000 grant from the Florida Economic Development Office. The grant will support on-site employee training.
Sunseeker Resort is the game-changing news that will be most visible to the people of Charlotte County. This spectacular project on Charlotte Harbor near the U.S. 41 bridges represents an $800 million investment from Allegiant Travel Company. The resort will feature 958 harborfront units, a 537-room resort, Florida’s longest swimming pool (a whopping 1,000 feet), 15 unique bars, restaurants and cafes, and a mile-long boardwalk for the public to enjoy. Here are some impressive facts about the economic impact of Sunseeker Resort in Charlotte County over the next ten years:
• Nearly $150 million in salaries
• Nearly $750 million in taxable sales
• Over $250 million in new, non-residential taxable property
• $39 million in net benefits for Charlotte County
• $36 million in benefits for Charlotte County schools
Source: “Report of the Economic Impact of Sunseeker Resort in Charlotte County FL,” Charlotte County Economic Development Office, June 20, 2018.