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Council approves permit for Roar Offshore

Powerboat racing event to return to Fort Myers Beach Oct. 7 to Oct. 9

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | Aug 3, 2021

The Roar Offshore races are scheduled to return to Fort Myers Beach Oct. 9. There will be events leading up to the races on Oct. 7 and Oct. 8. / File photo

After a year off from making waves on Fort Myers Beach, the organizers of Roar Offshore Boat Races are planning to bring back the powerboats on the gulf for a racing event that will stretch from Bowditch Point Park to the Diamondhead Resort from Oct. 7 to Oct. 9.

On Monday, the Town of Fort Myers Beach Council unanimously approved a special permit for the races, which will also include the renting of parking spaces and a waiver of open container laws for Thursday, Oct. 7 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Times Square, Old San Carlos Boulevard, First Street, Second Street, Third Street, Fourth Street and Fifth Street.

Town of Fort Myers Beach Vice Mayor Rexann Hosafros requested the organizers provide portable restrooms for the event. Cyndee Hill and Tim Hill, the organizers of the event, said they would reach out to sponsors of the event to provide space for portable restrooms. They said the most demand for portable restrooms at the event in 2019 was at the racing pits, Hooters, Lynn Hall Memorial Park and Crescent Beach Family Park. They said they won’t be using the county parks.

Hosafros conditioned the approval of the special permit with the provision that an adequate number of portable restrooms equal to “the same number of bathrooms that were on the Lee County property before in some location” which is made available to the public for the event.

The event will get started with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Salty Sam’s Marina in the morning of Oct. 7, which will be followed by a boat parade and street party that evening. There will be a “festival of speed” at Salty Sam’s Marina on Friday with the main races held Saturday morning and afternoon off Fort Myers Beach on a racecourse running on the Gulf of Mexico from Bowditch Point Park to the Diamondhead Resort.

The organizers will still need further regulatory approvals before the project can officially go forward, though Mondays’ special permit from the town was a key hurdle.

“We’re always looking for events in off-season and this is a great boost to our local economy so thank you for choosing Fort Myers Beach,” Councilmember Jim Atterholt said to the organizers.

“It’s a great thing for the beach,” Fort Myers Beach Mayor Ray Murphy said.