NAPLES, Fla. -- Hoteliers in Collier County, encompassing Naples,
Marco Island and the Everglades, remain hopeful this year's high
season won't be a wash.
To that end, despite sagging occupancies, many hotels are
pressing on with openings and renovations scheduled prior to the
Sept. 11 attacks.
One marked difference over previous years, however, is the
reallocation of advertising dollars to the drive-in market.
The Tourism Alliance of Collier County is completing plans for
an ad campaign, in conjunction with Visit Florida, to attract
travelers from the Northeast, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and
Cincinnati -- traditional winter markets -- as well as Miami, West
Palm Beach, Orlando and Tampa, usually relied on as the off-season
The campaign will consist of Internet advertising, radio spots
and direct mailings, according to a spokeswoman.
Higher-end properties appear to be suffering the least since
Sept. 11. "The luxury market seems to be back on track," said the
Though business dipped post-Sept. 11, according to a spokeswoman
for the Ritz-Carlton Naples, the property had a 92% occupancy rate
over Thanksgiving. She said the hotel is projecting occupancy will
average 85% during the week between Christmas and New Year's.
The Tiburon/Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort is set to open Jan. 4.
The Marco Beach Ocean Resort, Marco Island, is slated to open
Dec. 17. It will offer 103 one- and two-bedroom suites with
balconies, conference facilities, a spa and a fitness center.
LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort will celebrate its grand
re-opening Jan. 2. It had been closed since April for a $45 million
It will house 189 rooms, including nine suites, meeting and
conference facilities, five swimming pools and a spa.
The Marco Island Marriott Resort & Golf Club, which had
closed one of its towers for a time because of a decline in guests,
now plans to proceed with a $43 million renovation that includes
room upgrades and the construction of a 24,000-square-foot Balinese
As the industry waits for an economic upswing, Naples continues
to promote what the area is known for -- golf and spas.
The Hotel Escalante is
offering a Winter Golf package for $539 per night, double, that
features suite accommodations, breakfast and 18 holes of golf plus
a second round for a discounted rate.
The Inn on Fifth is spotlighting its Inn'timate Getaway, an
overnight package starting at $499 per couple, with his and her's
massages, breakfast and a restaurant gift certificate.
Also, the Philharmonic Center for the Arts is gearing up for its
13th season with dance, music and theater performances.
This year, the venue will play host to Itzhak Perlman, Julio
Iglesias, Debbie Reynolds, Mandy Patinkin and the Alvin Ailey
American Dance Theater.
Inn on Fifth
LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort
Marco Beach Ocean Resort
Marco Island Marriott Resort and Golf Club
Tiburon/Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort