To the editor:
Like so many others in the Lee County business community, I was thrilled to hear the news that the Hertz Corporation is moving its world headquarters to Estero. Luring a Fortune 500 company to our community will pay dividends for us all, but I couldn't help but be a little more excited to know this new major player in our community is a tourism-related company. What better partner for The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel?
Hertz selected Estero after a nationwide search, and the natural beauty and community assets that attract visitors to our destination every day played a role in the decision. Hertz Chairman and CEO Mark P. Frissora called the company's decision a "quality-of-life-issue." Our beautiful beaches, sunny weather, excellent golfing and plentiful outdoor activities certainly helped attract the company.
The Florida location also gives the company ready access to millions of travelers. In announcing the decision, Frissora said, "Florida is the center of the U.S. travel and tourism industry - this move enables us to be closer to leisure and business customers, as well as many travel and association partners."
Hertz, which operates its car rental business through the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty brands from approximately 10,400 corporate, licensee and franchisee locations worldwide, plans to build a 300,000-square-foot headquarters office building in Estero with an anticipated price tag of more than $68 million. The company anticipates employing a staff of 700 within two years with an average wage of $102,000. Hertz also plans to open a rental facility and a retail car sales store on the headquarters campus.
In the near future, I look forward to sitting down with Hertz leaders to discuss ways the company can partner with our local tourism industry. What a great fit for our community. In the meantime, I know you join me in welcoming this major player to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.