In the wake of Hurricane Ian’s devastating impact on Sanibel Island one year ago, the community’s remarkable resilience and determination shine through as the beloved Sanibel Island Beach Resort recently marked its grand re-opening. Comcast Business played a vital role in this recovery journey, supporting the resort and the local community’s revival efforts.
“Getting businesses up and running is not just about restoring infrastructure; it’s about restoring livelihoods and the spirit of a community,” said Jeff Buzzelli, Comcast’s Senior Vice President of the Florida Region. “Comcast is proud to stand by Sanibel Island Beach Resort and the entire island as they rebuild and thrive.”
A Year of Challenges and Triumphs
The impact of Hurricane Ian was profound, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The resort, which sits along the island’s pristine waterfront, faced severe damage. Roads were demolished, isolating the island and necessitating the use of ferries for transportation. The availability of accommodations plummeted, with just 40 rooms out of 1400 remaining open. This dire situation had a significant economic impact, affecting businesses and tourism.
The loss of essential services, an extended recovery period, and employee displacement further emphasized the challenges faced by the resort and the community. Yet, amid adversity, Sanibel Island exhibited unparalleled resilience.
“We are thrilled to reopen the Sanibel Island Resort for our community. It signifies our resilience and unwavering spirit. As the doors swing open once more, we welcome visitors with open arms, inviting them to experience the beauty and hospitality that define our destination,” said Andy Berger, Vice President of Ocean Properties, Ltd.
“When a community faces adversity, it’s the determination and unity of its people that shine the brightest,” said Berger. “Sanibel Island is a testament to the strength of community bonds.”
Commitment to Recovery
Comcast stepped forward to assist in the recovery efforts throughout Sanibel Island by providing connectivity and support. Including:
- TV and Internet Services: Comcast Business provided TV and Internet service to the 21 workers staying on-site at the resort as they worked tirelessly to get the resort repaired and back in business.
- Restoring Connectivity: Vital fiber, Internet, and TV services were installed for the hotel so that guests can now enjoy WiFi and Internet access at the resort upon reopening to the public. This also helped the resort handle its critical back-office business functions that required connectivity.
- Network Rebuild: Comcast had to rebuild its entire network on the island, a monumental task undertaken following Hurricane Ian.
- Equipment Transport: Facing severely damaged roadways, Comcast transported equipment via ferries to reach the island, enabling restoration work to begin.
- Community Support: Comcast NBCUniversal and the Universal Orlando Foundation donated $2 million to support relief and recovery efforts in Florida following Hurricane Ian’s catastrophic flooding and devastating effects..
A Reimagined Resort
Today, Sanibel Island Beach Resort stands ready to welcome guests once more. Extensive renovations have transformed this beachfront haven into a modern paradise. Newly designed guest rooms, fresh dining options to debut later this year, a magnificent pool, and rejuvenated landscaping providing direct beach access promise an unforgettable stay.
The island’s beautiful public beaches, including the beloved Lighthouse Beach Park, have reopened thanks to rigorous restoration efforts.
“Sanibel Island Beach Resort’s journey of revival embodies the spirit of this island,” said Berger. “It’s about coming back stronger, more vibrant, and more united. We’re excited to see this beloved resort once again shine in the heart of Sanibel.”
As we look forward to the grand reopening of Sanibel Island Beach Resort, all of us in Comcast’s Florida Region celebrate the resilience of this remarkable community and Comcast Business’ unwavering commitment to support their journey towards a brighter future.