Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011
As I was driving down 5th avenue south last night meeting customers to help them buy vacant land in Naples just five miles from the Gulf of Mexico I had trouble finding a parking spot – tourist season is in high gear and I needed to head for one of my safe spots on a side street. Why are all these people here really?
Naples, Florida remains one of the premier destinations for national and international travel and living. Our little hamlet on the ocean swells four fold with the return of seasonal residents and tourists this time of year and yes parking is tough and traffic gets a little challenging (not by Chicago or New York standards however) – but wow why here anyway? As I left my favorite Thai restaurant in town a father and his son were having dinner speaking German, reminding me again over 20% of our real estate buyers are international.
What draws people here to Naples, Florida from all over the world on a late December evening? Sure the weather, but also a hundred other reasons. To begin to learn about this place read a wonderful book called Peacocks were Roasted and Mullet was fried by Doris Reynolds. If you cannot find it contact me and I will help you find a copy.
You will learn Naples is no fly by night tourist development but a southern paradise rich in history and fun. For example in 1885 Walter Haldeman first came down to Naples from Louisville in what would become the beginning of a flood of northerners seeking seasonal or full time living in Naples. He would go to build Sea Villa one of our first ocean properties and also Palm Cottage.
The Naples Hotel was built in 1912 and later run by the Watkins family. You think Naples has some staying power and history? The Watkins family still runs the Naples Beach Hotel – a successor property to the old hotel and just up the beach with wonderful lodging and an international conference center on the Guld of Mexico. Talk to Mary Watkins and she will share with you the wonderful history of the area.
Oh how this town likes to party in season. Maybe the fun social scene started with the original barn dances in 1919 at The Commissary but I am here to tell you I feel like like I need to work out and stay in shape just to make it through high season. My wife and I live on the back bay, an area developed in the 1920‘s when the Tamiami Trail crews were in town to build our conenction to Miami – all with private funds from Mr. Collier thank you very much who had such a wonderful vision for the county and who’s decendants still work hard to keep this place beautiful and growing.
Every decade has a story. The back bay fishing and hole in the wall excursions of the roaring 20‘s, Private Ford Tri-Motor planes landing on the beach in the 1930’s (you think today’s Gulfstreams are cool, you should have been there to see these pilots put their wheels down on the beach!), search and pursuit pilot training out of little Naples airport in the 1940’s, the post WWII folks celebrating the end of a great conflict and enjoying life driving the trail in the 1950’s, the brothers building up Marco Island in 1960’s, endless beaches in Bonita available in the 1970’s, premier home developments continuing in the 1980’s and 1990’s, national golf events, top restaurants joining our favorite local establishments and growing tourism in recent years and you have the basic, only the very basic, understanding of our wonderful Naples. So many stories, so many fun times. So blessed to be here.
If you come down for a visit or purchase Naples real estate here you certainly will not be the first to figure out how wonderful life can be here. You will be just as welcome as those first arrivals and I think you will find plenty to do here – or if you prefer – do nothing and just enjoy life.
Give us a call and I will wear you out talking about history and life here in Naples!
No legal or investment advice or suggestions are being given in this Blog. Actual real estate price and sales results are subject to market forces and are not completely predictable. Please consult a lawyer or investment advisor for such legal and investment advice. The writings of this Blog are intended for the sole use of our clients.
Mark Goebel, PA is a REALTOR with Coldwell Banker on 5th avenue in Naples, Florida with 35+ years of visiting and living in Naples. After 25 years at Accenture, Mark retired as a managing director and spends his time helping non profits and building a Naples real estate team with his wife Nan. Talk to Mark and Nan about life in Naples and why they chose this place to live full-time over all others and enjoy Naples real estate.
Mark Goebel, PA
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