Progress and development is once again shining on Marathon. A recent tour of Marathon’s newest lodging property, The Holiday Inn Express & Suits will soon open to the public with sleek, modern rooms and a lobby that is as warm and inviting as our weather. Everyone can see the massive tiki hut soon to be filled with thirsty tourists watching their children play and frolic in the new pool. Plenty of dockage will certainly lure the Florida boaters to our Middle Keys paradise.

The developer told me their next priority will be Faro Blanco and we all hope to have a 100-slip marina in Old Town fully operational by next season.

Other recent improvements like the renovations at Marathon Marina and Lazy Days South, 7 Mile Motors, Daffy Doug’s Discount Dollar Store, Hawks Cay Resort, Sombrero Resort & Marina, and City of Marathon Marina are breathing new life into town. Future projects slated for completion over the next 12-24 months include a new Walgreens in place of a derelict building, a central sewer system and new road overlays, the Heritage Trails and other landscaping projects are all evidence that this is the dawn of a new day.

A direction that will most definitely yield a “positive return on our investment” for our business community and residents.

So yes, I have seen the light. Some of these improvements are a long time coming and some are just great, exciting news to hear. Marathon and the Middle Keys have a number of bold, innovative, and aggressive entrepreneurs who are willing to put their finances and businesses at stake for the betterment of our community. If these ambitious entrepreneurs are willing to invest in our community they certainly deserve a return that will help create new jobs, attract more visitors, and command an appealing US1 corridor.

Our taxes are low and extremely moderate compared to others around us and other municipalities around the State of Florida. Our infrastructure is in place and expanding as our needs and services expand. As more slips and rooms come on-line, our local economy looks stronger and stronger.

Marathon can count on their Chamber of Commerce to aggressively promote, market, and bring business to our islands by filling vacant commercial spaces, encouraging businesses to make aesthetic improvements, as well as recruiting new businesses to create jobs, sell properties, and bring more families to our city. With the Chamber’s Board of Directors guidance and direction, I personally am very excited about our future and although at times we may hit a bump in the road I can still see the light – and it is as bright as the Florida sun.

Daniel Samess is the CEO of the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The Marathon Chamber’s Annual Awards & Installation Banquet will take place at Hawk’s Cay on Friday, October 8. The evening will include installation and farewell of incoming and outgoing directors and awards for local businesses. Call (305) 743-5417 to RSVP.


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