Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina celebrated its recently constructed state-of-the-art marina with a ribbon-cutting ceremony provided by the Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Last Wednesday afternoon, officials from the resort, Town, County and the Boykin Management Company applauded the efforts of the $1.2 million construction renovations that involved 41 floating boat slips (each with power pedestals). Boaters docking there can enjoy 30-, 50- and 100-amp electric service, water, HD Direct television, wireless Wi-Fi service, pump-out services, a full-time dock master, trained service personnel and a ship store with marine supplies, ice, beverages and snacks.
It also offers the fastest access to the Gulf among all other Southwest Florida public marinas.
Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina officials Robert and Jack Boykin cut the ribbon during a celebration at the newly constructed bayside marina. Pictured with them are (l to r) Chamber Ambassador Robb Capps, Chamber President Bud Nocera, Pink Shell Regional Director of Sales and Marketing Ellis Etter, Chamber Board Chairman Norma Jean Pevey, Pink Shell Marina Dock Master Dave O'Connor, Chamber Ambassador Sandy Lepley as well as Chamber Ambassador Fran Podraza, Chamber staff member Nancy Eaton, Marketing Director Dan Eaton and Chamber Ambassador Eryka Aptaker in the back row.
"Today is special, because we add another part to our name. I think it will change the nature of the property," said Robert Boykin, CEO and chairman of the Boykin Management Company. "It's been a long time coming to get to this point."
Pink Shell Resort was founded in 1950. Boykin Lodging Company bought the property in 1998. The Boykin brothers -his partner is Jack Boykin- bought the resort in 2006.
Robert reflected back to January 2007 when the company considered creating a marina. On Sept. 4, 2012, the thought became reality with the start of the marina construction. The project was recently completed with only a few tweaks to be added.
Prior to renovations, Pink Shell Resort had a repair-needed fixed dock facility on the bayside to complement its resort accommodations on the Gulf side. Now, the property possesses a green marina and the first ADA-compliant dock in Florida since the state changed its standards in 2010.
"This property warrants a marina," said Boykin, who mentioned numerous studies and permits that were involved before construction could begin. "It feels pretty good opening in 2013, given where the economy seems to be getting some life back. We feel pretty optimistic where this can go, and we are getting good feedback from the boating community."
Pink Shell's new marina slips are guaranteed to withstand a Category 3 hurricane, according to Boykin. Having the marina facility now gives the resort full-service status, ranging from 150 weddings per year on the beachfront to business group facilities indoors to boat rentals, charter fishing excursions and docking for the Colgate Sailing School on the bayside. Marina guests can enjoy ancillary benefits with three restaurant/bars, concierge, spa, three pools, fitness center, shower facilities, market, beach chairs, laundry facilities, a game room, children's recreation services and room packages.
"This makes the resort more efficient and more profitable," said Boykin. "Because it's a condo hotel, we have 214 partners in this deal. They didn't put a nickel in it, but their real estate is more valuable as a result."
Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina can accommodate boats up to an overall length of 100 feet. It welcomes a diversified boating community, including transient, long term and boat groups as well as daily, weekly and monthly dockage.
"We had a sailboat come in that is now staying for a month," said Boykin.
Pink Shell was the first resort on the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel to be designated a Green Lodging Property by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection agency.
Boykin thanked all involved in the process from consultants to Town, County and Beach Chamber officials to the boating community to Pink Shell management team, such as Bill Waichulis, Tim Lay, Ellis Etter and Katje Kunz.
"Bill really carried the rocks, and we are really grateful for that," he said. "We are going to try to be on the leading edge of hospitality. That is our mission."