July 24, 2014

Community Portrait

Fort Myers and Cape Coral

| 11/1/2010

Economic Life

Gulf Coast Medical Center
Gulf Coast Medical Center, Lee Memorial Health System

» The cost of living in Fort Myers is below the U.S. average (86.9 vs. 100 for the U.S. average), with housing being cheaper and medical care more expensive.

» Median household income in the city is well below the state average: $40,305 vs. $47,778. Among county residents, median income is above the state average at $50,747.

» In 2009, Lee County launched a $25-million incentive program aimed at attracting businesses. The county awarded $1 million to Source Interlink, allowing the publishing, merchandizing and distribution company to transfer hundreds of its employees located elsewhere to the county. Paramount Transportation Logistics Services created 100 jobs in Fort Myers, enticed by the $300,000 it received from the fund when it moved its headquarters to the city.

» The median home value (including condos) in Fort Myers is $176,000 vs. $218,700 statewide.


21st Century Oncology has offices in 15 states.
Healthcare

» Lee Memorial Health System is the county’s largest employer, with more than 9,400 employees, including about 1,100 doctors. It operates five outpatient centers and six hospitals with more than 1,400 hospital beds. A regional cancer center opened in 2009. The health system also spun off a freestanding company, LeeSar, that procures and distributes a range of medical products for both the Lee Memorial system and Sarasota Memorial. Sales have jumped from $20 million eight years ago to more than $120 million.

» Hope HealthCare Services, run by CEO Samira Beckwith, is a multimillion-dollar healthcare organization based in Fort Myers that provides hospice and healthcare services to more than 2,000 people a day.

» 21st Century Oncology, a developer and operator of radiation therapy centers, has grown to 98 offices in 15 states and has helped develop innovative radiation therapies.

Travel

» Key to development of the region since it opened in 1983, Southwest Florida International Airport opened a new terminal in 2005 and handled more than 7.4 million passengers in 2009, making it one of the top 50 U.S. airports for passenger traffic. Twenty airlines provide service all over the U.S. and to Canada and Germany. With a free trade zone and room for expansion, the airport is seen as a key economic engine by regional economic developers. Also notable: A successful general aviation facility, Page Field, is home to more than 300 private aircraft and supports some 920 jobs.

Southwest Florida International Airport
Southwest Florida International Airport added a terminal five years ago.

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