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City calls first teen New Year’s Eve party a success

By Staff | Jan 13, 2016

Future Fest 2K16, the quickly assembled New Year’s Eve event held at Sun Splash Waterpark and aimed at the area’s teenagers, was hailed a success by Parks & Recreation special events coordinator Todd King during his report at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“I don’t think there is any other city in the nation that would concentrate this heavily on a great youth event,” said King. “I think we have a good three-year plan to build the event so we can continue to foster a positive youth vibe for a growing population and executed the marketing and production in just 30 days. I think we can continue to build that parent trust for our youth going forward.”

The event was attended by 266 teens who enjoyed the elements like deejay music, fireworks, photo booth, laser lights and the ball drop at midnight.

The marketing ahead of the event, King reported, reached more than 7,000 students through Facebook and a website promoting the event got 2,000 views. He believed that along with promos on three radio stations, the program reached more than 10,000 people.

Looking ahead, a plan for expansion of the event includes possibly moving it to the South Cape for next New Year’s Eve, but that suggestion was addressed by Councilmember Richard Leon.

“Moving it to the South Cape would be a huge benefit,” said Leon. “The worst thing we could ever do is take away parking, especially in South Cape. We have to find something different. Other than that I think moving it to South Cape is a huge win.”

King agreed and replied that talks are in the preliminary stages as the department moves forward in discussion of ideas with the South Cape CRA boards, hospitality industry and business players. The results of those discussions will be presented to council in the months ahead.

“We’d like to reach a wider population, but segment it with an area for parents-young children with a ball drop at 9 p.m., before transitioning to our teens and young adults and incorporate it with a ball drop downtown,” said King. “I think we can expand it beyond Lee County. Cape Coral is becoming known as an event town and we’ve got quite a few in our pot to draw from all over Southwest Florida, so I’m excited about this as well.”

Other council business

In other business before council Monday night, a resolution to fund parking lot repaving and improvements at the Yacht Club was approved. Work on the project, however, will not begin until after April 5 when the peak usage by seasonal residents subsides.

The cost of the project is approved up to $244,110 to contractor Pavement Maintenance LLC and will come from the revenue the city receives from the Boat House Tiki Bar & Grill lease agreement. The work will be done in phases to limit the inconvenience. Its completion will include new sidewalks and create 37 additional parking spaces.

Council also approved the rezoning of eight multi-family residential parcels of vacant land at the intersection of Kismet Parkway and Andalusia Boulevard to become a commercial/professional development. Council approved the request over the objection of one nearby resident, who said he has the potential to be looking at a Dumpster from his home some day.

Staff recommended approval because it fits the area’s current makeup as well as the city’s initiative to create more commercial nodes on major roadways thereby creating more commercial tax base.

Council will not meet next Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 25.