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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!”
Where’s John this week?
Each week our Chamber President visits a local business to showcase for all of you what they do. Enjoy your visit!
Punta Gorda on the Rise
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Budget Award Winners - again
The City of Punta Gorda earned the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its budget again this year. Satisfying nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation, the guidelines assess how well a budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide, communications device. There are 14 criteria. The City has earned this recognition every year since 1985. Kudos!
Sunseeker & Kingsway Golf construction to restart
Allegiant Air president John Redmond announced the restart of the 2 local resort projects, with the procurement of a $350M loan. Loan partner not announced, Redmond still considers this SWFL area as a unique vacation opportunity. Allegiant’s leisure-only model has fared better financially than other business travel airlines. Watch for more info in early August.
Welcome to new Charlotte County teachers!
Charlotte Schools will see about 140 new teachers this year! At a 2-day, in person orientation July 28/29, they learned about the school system’s mission and values. Student safety, respect and quality education were stressed. About a dozen new teachers are “home grown.”
Sports Events Bring Visitors to Charlotte County
In June, 3 sports tournaments brought state-wide visitors to compete and vacation locally. The US Amateur Basketball Boys & Girls State Championship, USSSA Prostyle Baseball Charlotte Crown, & the USSSA Prostyle Baseball Independence Battle. 2400+ athletes competing; the events generated 2000+ hotel “room-nights” and sales to area businesses.
Accommodations higher than expected
In May & June, tax collections on accommodations were higher than previous record 2019 collections. Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau is ramping up marketing efforts to drive business through the summer and fall, expanding from in-state markets to the Southeast region & key feeder markets. The winter campaign, Visit Florida, begins late November, partially funded by the CARES act.
Punta Gorda is a “Hidden Gem” Destination
Quieter destinations are popular with travelers this summer. While the Jersey Shore, Lake Hartwell, SC & the Outer Banks, NC traffic has boomed (along with vacation home prices), stable prices and lesser crowds are attracting travelers to destinations in TX, CO, IN, UT and FL locations like Lakeland, Orlando & Punta Gorda, according to Trips to Discover.
Real estate report for June 2021
751 residential properties closed in Charlotte County in June – that’s up 49% over 2020! Of those properties, 64% were put under contract in under 10 days. And the median price is 25% higher than June 2020. There are 1222 contracts waiting to close, up 19% YOY, also an unprecedented number. Pundits predict the market will continue to move forward; this is not a bubble but is a supply / demand issue. Economists are calling for this market through 2023.
PicklePlex will hold more USPA Tournaments
The Punta Gorda PicklePlex has been awarded a 3-year contract by the Assoc. of Pickleball Professionals (APP) to hold USA Pickleball Association sanctioned tournaments here. The 2021 tournament provided a $1.1 million impact to Charlotte County. The 16 courts are a real asset to the local economy!
Good news for PGD, "Allegiant Air is Back!"
Allegiant Air recorded a profit of $6.9 million in Q1 2021, a significant milestone for the airline, as most other carriers recorded a loss. They now have 100 Airbus A320 aircraft in its fleet, planning to end 2021 with 108, which will support a 20% increase in capacity. The passenger load factor (how much of an airline’s passenger carrying capacity is used) in March 2021 was about 34 points lower than 2019 (54%); April’s load factor went up a whopping 10 points!
July is Independent Retailer Month
Independent Retailer Month highlights the critical role small, local merchants play in the community and the national economy. The month-long celebration encourages consumers to shop local and celebrate indie (independent) retailers; the goal to create more sustainable cities, towns and communities.
If everyone in the U.S. spent an additional $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, more than $9.3 billion would be directly returned to local economies. We urge you to Shop Local!
United Airlines connects SW Florida to California
Starting Dec 16, 2021, UA will inaugurate a new nonstop flight from Fort Myers to San Francisco (SFO)! They will also add another nonstop flight option to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The daily flights for both markets will be operated seasonally from Dec. 16, 2021 to May 5, 2022 on 737-800s.
Sun Country Airlines flies to Punta Gorda Airport
Announced April 27, 2021, Sun Country Airlines will begin services from Punta Gorda to Minneapolis, starting Dec. 10, 2021. Flying 2ce weekly, Mondays & Fridays, the airline offers economical flights. They currently offer flights out of Ft. Myers and St. Pete. Visit SUNCOUNTRY.COM
New Allegiant Destinations Announced
Allegiant will fly nonstop service from Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) to two new destinations: Minneapolis MN (MSP) starts Oct 8th. Springfield, MO (SFG) starts Nov 19th. To celebrate the new launch date, the company is offering a special low price for these routes available now. 2 fun cities for Floridians to visit. And Punta Gorda is a great place for our northern friends to come visit!
The Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce follows all relevant COVID-19 protocols.
Our commitment to diversity and representation for all
In these difficult times in this country, we, at the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce, want to express our very own commitment to diversity and representation for all. Regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation and religion, our membership is open to ALL. We work towards total inclusion and integration of our business community, with zero judgement of any individual business or person. Our Chamber is a family, made up of a wide range of social sectors and we never discriminate. United and diversified, we work better together for the good of our businesses and our community at large.