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Fort Myers resort lays off 195, total hospitality layoffs in SWFL now top 1,000

Damage from Hurricane Ian has forced the 72-year-old Pink Shell to shut down and cut employees.

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Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina in Fort Myers is laying off 195 employees after damage caused by Hurricane Ian forced it to close for at least a year.

These layoffs bring the total number of hotel workers to lose their jobs because of the storm to 1,024 according to a state database, with The Ritz-Carlton, Naples cutting 591 employees and South Seas Island Resort 238.

The number, however, is likely be far higher because the database lists only cuts that have been reported to the state, and the system seems to be lagging. Employees at Pink Shell were notified Oct. 14 they were losing their jobs, but the notification appeared on the database Nov. 3.

Pink Shell, at 275 Estero Blvd., says in a letter to the state that the hotel is closed due to “extensive” damage and that “we do not anticipate the same level of service as we had pre-hurricane for the next year or so.”

The letter was sent to meet WARN Notice requirements. Federal law requires companies to provide states with Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification notices when making job cuts.

The layoffs include 186 hourly workers and nine managers.

Pink Shell has posted a link to an associate relief fund on its website with a message saying “if you are looking for a way to support us during this difficult time, please consider donating” to the fund.

The closure and layoffs come five months after the 72-year-old resort announced a $7 million renovation.

Pink Shell opened in 1950 with a single cottage and has grown into a 12-acre beach resort with 195 condo-style villas, all with beach views and a full-service marina and spa.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the commercial real estate editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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