Fort Myers is home to some of Florida’s finest beaches, where countless vacation memories have been made. We all watched in horror as Hurricane Ian swept through, but thankfully the area is getting back on its feet, with many accommodations and attractions already open. We’re sharing a list of updates right from the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau here visitfortmyers.com/open.

Read on for more news and how you and your clients can help. Please note the situation continues to be in a state of flux—your best bet is to visit the websites of individual businesses for status updates.

Everything to Know About Fort Myers This Travel Season

Support Fort Myers hospitality workers

The men and women who make sure your clients live their best vacation still need your support, as many lost their homes, jobs, cars and more.

Your contributions to the SWFL Relief Fund will directly support hospitality workers on Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel & Captiva islands, Pine Island, Matlacha, Boca Grande and the outer islands, and in Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Alva, Buckingham and Lehigh Acres. Click here to see how you can help:  www.SupportFortMyers.org

If you or any of your clients are in town: Nov. 2 Songwriters for Southwest Florida to benefit hospitality workers

BMI and IHeartMedia will present Songwriters for Southwest Florida, a concert benefiting hospitality workers in Lee County, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville. Many songwriters have pledged their support to a community that they feel has given so much to them during their time at the annual 10-day Island Hopper Songwriter Fest. The benefit concert will feature BMI songwriters who have performed at the festival since its inception. Among those contributing to the night’s line-up: Aaron Barker, Kristian Bush of Sugarland, Sheena Brook, Brooke Eden, Tim James, Paul McDonald, Frank Myers, Danny Myrick, Maggie Rose, Stephanie Quayle and Maia Sharp.

New Shellcast podcast episode: Sanibel Island Causeway opens ahead of schedule

Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith and John Lai, president and CEO of Sanibel Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, talk about the Oct. 19 reopening of the Sanibel Causeway, restoring access to residents and construction crews just three weeks after Hurricane Ian. The Causeway’s reopening marks a significant milestone in Lee County’s recovery from the Category 4 hurricane that hit Southwest Florida on Sept. 28. Recorded Oct. 20. Shellcast is the award-winning podcast of the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau. Listen wherever you get your podcasts or at youtube.com/watch?v=IxaDwVt-mlk&t=19s

Lee Parks: Multiple locations open

Following assessments by Lee County Parks and Recreation, multiple locations are now open. Check leeparks.org for a list of hours and amenities.

Hotel Reopenings

The Marriott Sanibel Harbour in Fort Myers reopened Oct. 28. marriott.com

The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village plans to reopen on Nov. 1. westincapecoral.com

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs will reopen on Nov. 7. hyatt.com

Attractions and entertainment

Edison and Ford Winter Estates
The Edison and Ford Estates in Fort Myers has opened and, on Nov. 11, will host the acoustic ensemble Appalachian Road Show for the first Rhythm on the River concert of the season. The group performs bluegrass and folk music, as well as original songs. The event will take place on the Ford lawn along the Caloosahatchee River. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. edisonfordwinterestates.org

Wonder Gardens
The 86-year-old attraction in Bonita Springs is open. wondergardens.org

College basketball: Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off tickets on sale
Returning Thanksgiving week, the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off is back (men’s division Nov. 21-23), along with the Elevance Health Women’s Fort Myers Tip-Off (Nov. 25-27) at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. For schedule and tickets, visit www.fortmyerstipoff.com

Rockin’ on the River continues
Luminary Hotel & Co. and the Rockin’ on the River free concert series continues at the Caloosa Sound Amphitheater; the series will run through December with two concerts: country music legend Lorrie Morgan on Nov. 21; and a holiday show by contemporary swing revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Dec. 12. Visit CaloosaSoundAmp.com for ticket information.

Airport News

New air service at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)

American: Austin (AUS) daily, limited holiday service Dec. 15 – Jan.9, 2023
Sun Country Airlines: Eau Claire EAU) weekly beginning Dec. 19.
Avelo Airlines: Kalamazoo (AZO) and Lansing (LAN) weekly beginning Nov. 11. Raleigh/Durham (RAL) weekly beginning Nov. 10. Binghamton (BGM) begins Nov. 16.
WestJet: nonstop service from Ottawa (YOW) through April 29, 2023, with twice-weekly service.
WestJet twice-daily service from Toronto (YYZ) through April 29, 2023.
Air Canada nonstop from Montreal (YUL) with twice-a-week service. Nov. 24-Dec. 18 will be three times per week.
Air Canada nonstop from Toronto (YYZ) four times per day through April 15, 2023.

Annual festivals and events (All subject to change. Please confirm.)

Sanibel Island Writers Conference
Nov. 5
Will be streamed live and free of charge. Check the website for an updated schedule.
www.fgcu.edu/siwc

Holiday events

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Fort Myers
Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” in the Main Theatre Nov. 18-Dec. 30;
“Ha! Ha! Ho! The Holiday Show” in Off Broadway Palm Dec. 10-25;
“Santa Claus the Musical” in the Children’s Theatre Nov. 29-Dec. 24.
broadwaypalm.com

47th Annual Holiday Nights at Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers
Nov. 25 -Jan. 1, 2023
“Holidays on the Riverfront”
EdisonFord.org

River District Holidays, downtown Fort Myers 2022
myriverdistrict.com/events