Welcome to Punta Gorda
The Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce invites you to explore our city and discover why Punta Gorda has continuously been chosen as one of the best places to live!
“A friendly community with a remarkable past and an exciting future.”
We invite you to share with us a little of the incredible charm of this historic, yet thriving, small city. Nestled on the shores of Charlotte Harbor in sunny Southwest Florida, it is rapidly becoming the IN destination for visitors, residences and businesses alike. You will also find an abundance of local information in our Friday Facts newsletter, where you will find all of our members’ events and promotions. <click here for a Calendar of Events>
“A small city with a very big heart welcomes you! IT’S HAPPENING ON THE HARBOR!”
Punta Gorda on the Rise
Stay home, stay active with Charlotte County Parks & Rec
The public is invited to join Charlotte County Parks and Recreation Virtual Movement Initiative for at-home workouts, yoga, kids’ crafts, water aerobics, and more. A new video will be released each day, Mon-Fri, at 1:30pm on Facebook. Watch here: Facebook.com/CharlotteFLParksRec.
Free Lunch & Breakfast for Children
Champ’s on Wheels mobile feeding bus is providing free curbside pickup lunch and next-day breakfast to all Charlotte county children at 10 Charlotte County Schools, Mid-County Regional Library, Port Charlotte Public Library and Hampton Point Apartments. Children must be present to receive a meal, but they have to stay in the vehicle. Visit YourCharlotteSchools.net for pick-up times and locations.
Buckley’s Pass IS NOW OPEN!
As of Friday afternoon, April 3, 2020, Buckley’s Pass is complete! The pass is now OPEN to boaters. A City ceremony and parade of boats may still happen in May or after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Punta Gorda traffic is down by 80%
And that is the good news, given current circumstances – that people in the City are heeding the pleas to stay home and to practice physical distancing. Some of our Punta Gorda businesses are adapting new ways to serve our residents; restaurant take-out & delivery, streaming entertainment (Thanks Mindi Abair!), telemedicine and teletherapy. Lots of business meetings are happening with video and teleconferencing. Now is a great time to continue to support your local businesses!
"Wings Over Charlotte Harbor" October 24 - 25, 2020
39th Annual Air Show is relocating to Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor, due to runway renovation at PGD. All viewing areas will be free to the public and follow the shoreline from the bridge to 1500’ downstream. Yes, this means the Air Show can be enjoyed from the comfort of a boat. The USAF F-16 demonstration team will anchor the show with many more performers to be announced.
Local Boy Scouts of America are Prepared for Health & Safety
March 14 – 15, ~100 boys and girls were joined by Charlotte County’s Emergency Management, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT,) Search & Rescue K-9, local Fire Department, & Tampa General’s Aeromed helicopter, at Camp Miles Scout Reservation. Youth worked towards earning BSA merit badges including Emergency Preparedness, First Aid, Safety, Fire Safety, Search & Rescue, Public Health, Orienteering, Citizenship in the Community, and Wilderness Survival. They participated in a simulation of an emergency event involving multiple victims.
Babcock National Golf Course opens
A new 18-hole, par 72, semi-private golf course has opened within Babcock Ranch. The Gordon Lewis-designed course at their golf and country club also offers a pool, spa, tennis, pro shops, pickleball, and a country club. Lennar Homes is the builder.
$348,000 in tax revenue collected by Airbnb and paid to Charlotte County
Airbnb tax money collections for Charlotte County increased by over 40% from 2018 – 2019. Charlotte County and the Florida Department of Revenue have an agreement to allow Airbnb to collect and remit local bed taxes on behalf of its rental hosts. According to the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau tourism director, Wendie Vestfall, this tax is used for marketing and advertising “designed to increase tourist-related business activities to potential state, national and international visitors” & to pay the debt service on Charlotte Sports Park.
It’s time for the wearing of the green!
According to the Sarasota, Herald-Tribune, the most authentic Irish Pub in Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte counties is Celtic Ray Public House in our own Punta Gorda. They rated the 10 best Irish bars in anticipation of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations coming up on March 17th.
Love Baseball? Snowbird Classic through Mar 22
One of the country’s largest collegiate spring baseball tournaments returns to Charlotte County. The tournament welcomes (21) NCAA Division I & (23) Division III schools. For the complete list of teams & schedule, visit www.snowbirdbaseball.info. Last year’s Classic generated an estimated $13.3 million total economic impact. Total attendance estimated 13,120 (including spectators & 1,820 coaches, players, trainers, staff). Out-of-town visitors stayed an average of 7.3 nights, occupying 23,300+ room nights in area accommodations.
Charlotte County citizens are very generous
The 11th annual “Feed The Harbor” food drive collected 31,256 pounds of food worth over $50,000 from Charlotte County residents in one day on Feb. 23rd. Churches, shoppers, volunteers, the Boy Scouts, in-kind donors, all Publix stores in Charlotte County, H.E.L.P. and food pantries all worked to make this ecumenical event such a success.
2020 Florida High School Mock Trial competition
For the 6th consecutive year, Florida Southwestern Collegiate High School earned a spot to compete at the State Mock Trial Competition in Orlando on March 26-28. The competition is sponsored by Justice Teaching Center for Civic Learning at Florida Southern University. Hundreds of attorneys and judges volunteer each year to teach the legal process. Let’s root them on to a win at State and a trip to Nationals!
“It’s just a really good market”
…says Bill Dryburgh, the new president of the Realtors of Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port-DeSoto. Comparing December 2018 to December 2019, this past month saw 40% more single family home closings and 17.1% more Townhouse closings.
Tourism Bureau acquires new tool to better calculate economic impact of local events
A new tool from Destination International Association (largest global association of destination organizations) utilizes economic models based on type & length of event, number of attendees, vendor spending, etc. to deliver estimated expenditures across categories (lodging, transportation, retail, etc.) for both direct AND indirect/induced expenditures. Also delivers taxes generated on a local, state and federal level for an event, number of jobs supported by the event, & accounts for sponsorship/hosting costs to deliver the total ROI. This tool is free to use and available to local partners. Contact Chip.Futch@CharlotteCountyFL.gov for more information.
Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International recognizes Charlotte County’s tourism bureau
The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau won 2 prestigious Adrian Awards recently. “Outsiders Welcome” brand campaign won a Bronze. The Visitor Guide won a Silver from among 1100 submissions. “…showcased extraordinary success achieving their key marketing objectives to drive awareness…” Kudos to Aqua Marketing & Communications firm!
More people are flying in and out of Punta Gorda Airport
PGD passengers coming and going increased by almost 20% in January 2020 vs January 2019 with 154,805 travelers. December saw 166,087 visitors for an increase of over 26% from the previous year. This increase is partly due to more scheduled flights than previous years. PGD has added many destinations this year and most recently started flying to Richmond, VA in November.
January 2020 Real Estate Statistics
A hot month for home sales in Charlotte County! Sales were up 26.15% over Jan. 2019. 410 properties closed. The median price was up 6.82% over Jan 2019, at $222,200. The area has a 4-month supply of inventory. 27% of the properties closed in January sold in 1-10 days on the market. Data provided by Time Realty Services from Stellar MLS (Feb 10, 2020)
Courtesy of Air Shot Aces Drone Photography.