Once the winter home of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, Fort Myers (The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel) appeals to groups with its easy access to Gulf of Mexico beaches, year-round temperate climate—not to mention shopping, dining, golf and entertainment opportunities. Since meeting venues in Fort Myers include those in the nearby communities of Cape Coral, Fort Myers Beach, Estero, Bonita Springs, Sanibel and Captiva Islands and Naples, the range is quite diverse.
Located 14 miles from the Southwest Florida International Airport, Fort Myers offers convenient commutes to popular areas like Punta Gorda, Naples and Sarasota.
Hotel venues in Fort Myers comprise small and mid-size chain properties, as well as larger meeting-oriented venues. These include the 347-room Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa with 45,000 square feet of meeting space; the 471-room South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, with 20,000 square feet of space; the 454-room Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, which has 70,000 square feet of meeting space; the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village with 263 guest rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space; the Sundial Beach Resort with 288 guest rooms and 12,000 square feet of meeting space and the 226-room Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at the Bell Tower Shops with 10,000 square feet of meeting space.
For larger group meetings, banquets and events, the choices are the 100,000-square- foot Lee Civic Center, which is convenient to downtown Fort Myers, and the Harborside Event Center with 40,000 square feet of space, including a 30,000-square-foot large hall and 9 meeting rooms located In the heart of the Historic District downtown Fort Myers.
Heading the list of special event venues in Fort Myers is the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, a magnificent 20-acre estate enveloped by royal palms, bamboo, orchids and other tropical plants, that served as winter homes for two of America's great inventors. Evoking an "Old Florida" feel along the shores of the Caloosahatchee River, the complex, which encompasses the Edison Botanic Research Lab and Estates Museum, can accommodate up to 1,000 for a reception.
Notable group-friendly dining spots include The Veranda, a setting in two turn-of-the-century homes featuring Southern Regional Cuisine, a superb wine list, a private dining room for six and a garden courtyard area that can accommodate up to 60 for a reception, and Fish Company Restaurant, where fresh fish delicacies are the lure with a 100-person private dining room.