$1B Casino Targeted for the Forum


The News-Press reports that a developer is targeting a 57-acre parcel at the Forum in Fort Myers for a $1B gaming resort.  The project would include 1,500 hotel rooms, 300,000 SF of convention space and 400,000 SF of retail stores and restaurants.

A casino in Lee County would require a both the approval of the general public via a ballot question as well as from the state legislature.  An Atlanta-based consultant is in the process of collecting the approximately 24,000 signatures required to put this project on the November ballot.  It is estimated that 10,000 – 15,000 construction jobs would be created for the project.  The developer is proposing that a one percent tax be assessed on gaming revenue that would go to the general revenue fund of Lee County.

The Forum is a mixed-use development with retail office space and residential housing located at the intersection of I-75 and Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.  The project draws its name from the Los Angeles Lakers basketball stadium as then head coach Pat Riley was involved as an investor in the project.

While the issue of a gambling facility in Lee County is controversial, there is no doubt that this development wold be major game changer for the region.  Tabled infrastructure like the Colonial Boulevard elevated highway would probably get fast-tracked to provide access to the Forum for Cape Coral’s 150,000 residents.  The western end of Lehigh Acres would likely prove attractive for the gaming resort’s workforce.  Developments in close proximity to the Forum area like Colonial Country Club, Pelican Preserve and the entire Treeline Corridor would become a must-have location.

Today, the residential component of the Forum development includes the gated townhouse community of the Colonnade at the Forum and the single-family community of the Promenade at the Forum.

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  1. It would be a great job opportunity for all Lee County residents and businesses. Hopefully all hired i.e., builders, engineers,construction companies, employees,are residents of Lee County and not from other states.

  2. We need this casino in Fort Myers to bring jobs and attract visitors here. This would surely help no only the local jobs but also the local area to stabalize and quite possibly even rebound the home tragedy in the area. The Forum area is a perfect area for the casino. There’s a huge population in the very nearby vicinity that needs jobs the most. Not only that but it’s also right in an area that’s been hurt the most by the real estate crisis. The other great thing about the location is it’s at the northern part of Lee county in an area where there’s not that much there. This will help put Lee County as a whole on the map as well as create huge opportunity’s. It’s really a great idea. Two Thumbs Up!

  3. Let’s hope the “good old boys” that seem to run Lee County don’t get involved. It’s a superb idea and may be all that can save LeHigh. Where do I sign? Let’s do it!

  4. I am not happy with this casino, it will bring to our commuitee a different element of people and will bring down our property value. I saw what this did to Atlantic city and it was not a pretty picture. why dont you build this in Naples plenty of cash and alot of empty property off SR 75

  5. I think this is a wonderful idea. It actually saved Atlantic City. WE NEED JOBS! It will bring more buyers into the market for second homes for vacations. It’s a win win situation for our area. People will come from Naples, Tampa, Sarasota, etc. Money brings money.

  6. I worked in Atlantic City long before the casino’s came, and I still go there every summer. I’ll say this, Atlantic City looks 100 times better.It brings people who are looking for a good time and just want to have some fun. By creating many jobs maybe it will get some of the people here off the streets who are committing crimes because they can’t find work.
    It’s definitely a plus.