Island Update

‘Ding’ Darling branded beer to launch in December

As part of its 40th-anniversary celebration, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge will roll out its exclusive, limited-edition Wild Daze Ale on Dec. 4 starting at 4 p.m. at the Fort Myers Brewing Co. in Fort Myers. The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s Wildlife on Wheels mobile interactive experience will be onsite, along with food trucks and other special goings-on.

Ding Beer

JJ Taylor Companies will distribute canned Wild Daze Ale on Sanibel and Captiva only for the first year. The brew will be available with a limited window of about six months after its rollout.

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill and Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel and the ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa on Captiva will sell the beer, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the conservation, research, education and land acquisition efforts at the Sanibel refuge. The DDWS is planning island rollout events in partnership with Bailey’s and Doc Ford’s, with the dates to be announced.

Chaired by April Boehnen with the DDWS, the Wild Daze Committee commissioned native Miami Latina artist Emily Alvarez to design the label for the canned beer.

For more information, visit dingbeer.com or contact Boehnen at 239-472-1100, ext. 4.

Island Update

The Resort has been SOLD | Welcome Timber’s Resort

The Next Chapter in Captiva Island’s Story

JUST IN! The Iconic South Seas Island Resort has been officially acquired by Timbers Company, Wheelock Street Capital and The Ronto Group in a joint acquisition. In the latest press release, the group confirmed this notable acquisition, citing “the notable acquisition of this historic property supports Timbers Company’s continued plans for growth as announced earlier this year.”

Logo A

Click here to view the full press release. 

About the Timbers Company:
Timbers Company, the company behind Timbers Resorts, is the developer and operator of a collection of luxury properties in over 16 of the world’s most exclusive high-end destinations. The Timbers Collection includes boutique resorts, hotels, and private residence clubs in some of the world’s most sought-after ski, golf, leisure, and beach locations. Since 1999, Timbers Resorts has been committed to being authentic, unique, and respectful of the destination, focusing on family and experiences, and never compromising quality and service. Timbers Resorts also manages a luxury rental business where guests can rent some of their most exclusive residences at the resorts. Owners at properties in the Timbers Collection are granted an ownership experience with expanded benefits through a host of travel and lifestyle partners such as Sentient Jet, Hertz, MedjetAssist, The Ghurka Collection, and many more, as well as access to the Timbers Reciprocity Program and the ability to trade vacation time with other destinations in the portfolio. Current Timbers Collection properties can be found in Aspen, Beaver Creek, Cabo San Lucas, Jupiter, Kaua’i, Kiawah Island, Maui, Napa, Scottsdale, Sonoma, Southern California, Steamboat, Tuscany and Vail.

About Wheelock Street Capital:
Wheelock Street Capital was formed in 2008 by Rick Kleeman and Jonathan Paul, two veteran real estate private equity investors, each with 30 years of broad real estate transaction experience across all major asset classes. Wheelock has raised over $4 billion in capital commitments from well‐known institutional investors and focuses on real estate investment opportunities throughout the United States, in both public and private markets. Wheelock is currently deploying its sixth fund in its value‐added series, Wheelock Street Real Estate Fund VI, and its first perpetual life fund, Wheelock Street Long Term Value Fund. The Long Term Value Fund targets high‐quality, cash‐flowing assets with stable, yet attractive risk‐adjusted returns over a 5‐15 year investment horizon. The firm may invest directly or with high-quality joint venture partners through a variety of capital structures and transaction types, including acquisitions, restructurings, and recapitalizations. Wheelock’s investment team benefits from extensive experience from top‐tier institutional investment firms and highly regarded real estate operating companies and has produced a 10‐year track record of demonstrated and consistent outperformance over industry benchmarks.

About The Ronto Group:
Since 1967, The Ronto Group has been perfecting their skills in real estate development through the creation of residential and commercial projects worldwide. For over thirty years, Ronto has been developing in the Southwest Florida market, creating communities that celebrate the area’s irresistible appeal, from Marco Island to Tampa. The Company has built a solid reputation for imaginative vision, steadfast integrity and reliable performance. Headquartered in Naples, Ronto’s expertise in condominium and land development has been recognized internationally for communities that are lasting examples of the luxury lifestyle, thoughtful planning, and dedicated craftsmanship. In the past 8 years, the partnership between The Ronto Group and Wheelock Street Capital has resulted in three high-rise towers and two mid-rise communities, totaling 700 residences in Southwest Florida. Ronto has also received numerous awards from the southwest Florida homebuilding industry for superior design and craftsmanship. The Ronto Group’s expertise and attention to detail is evident in each of their projects.

The Resort holds a special place in our hearts. It has served generations of families and had been their partner in creating forever memories. It has witnessed marriages, romantic walks on the beach, family, and friends spending their time away from the chaos of everyday life. It has been a home away from home for many of us.

South Seas Island Resort

With this acquisition, we look forward to witnessing a new chapter of Captiva and Resort’s story.  Click here to read about the South Seas Island Resort history

Island Update

New Fall Fitness Classes Starting Monday, October 4th, 2021

Fall fitness class schedule starting Monday, October 4th, 2021 at the Sanibel Recreation Center. Classes offered are for all persons 12 years old and older at all fitness levels. Classes are included with Sanibel Recreation Center memberships. Members must show their Sanibel Recreation Center membership card to attend fitness classes. Face mask is required inside the Recreation Center for all persons aged 2 and older.

Weekly Fitness Class Schedule – Effective October 4th

8:30 a.m. Basic Yoga
10:00 a.m. Vertical Pilates

8:30 a.m. Cycling
10:00 a.m. Power Sculpting

8:30 a.m. Meditation
10:00 a.m. Bosu Pilates

8:30 a.m. Cycling
10:00 a.m. Power Sculpting

8:30 a.m. Cardio Yoga
10:00 a.m. Dailey Method

8:30 a.m. Cycling
10:00 a.m. Mat Pilates

Island Update

Sanibel Farmers Market 2021

Sanibel farmers market is returning for its 14th Season. The opening day of the farmers market is Sunday, October 3rd, 8 am to 1 pm.

The Sanibel Island Farmers Market was established in 2008. Now, it is one of Southwest Florida’s most beloved places to go to for fresh fruits, vegetables, and a variety of other local treats.

Sanibel Farmaers Market

You can visit the Sanibel farmers market every Sunday from Oct. 3 through May 29 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is something for everyone, from fresh fruits and vegetables, honey and cut flowers, to meats, seafood, prepared meals, cupcakes, bagels, fresh guacamole, native plants, and more.

New vendors this year include Mangia Meatballs, Pickles and Olive Garden, Sage & Indigo Juices, Key Lime Pies, Simply Savory Dips, Ackermann Syrups, Courageous Seeds with kava chai, ghee, herbal teas, honey elixirs and cedar burning bundles, and Karina’s Kitchen with German food, plus Divine Tea for the month of October.

Sanibel City Hall, 800 Dunlop Road

Oct. 3 to May 29 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Local roots

Island Update

Florida’s Best Kept Secret

Island Update

South Seas Island Resort Yacht Rock Weekend


The countdown is on for Yacht Rock Weekend 2021 at South Seas Island Resort This Friday – Sunday, Sept. 3-5 {Labor Day weekend}

Click here for full schedule

Island Update

Beach nourishment project update

The map illustrates that CEPD current plan is to commence with dredging and beachfill sometime this Tuesday, 9/1. The respective color-coded dates shown on the look ahead map represent a projection of expected progress; this is just an estimate and true rates of beachfill will vary slightly. All active work will be performed within a ~1000-foot zone that will be blocked off with temporary safety fence and continually shift along with the rate of beachfill progress.


Click here for the full map

Visit https://www.mycepd.com/ for more info

Island Update

SCCF: Loggerhead nests approach record level

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reported that sea turtle nesting season has started slower than 2020 — a record-breaking season — but current nest numbers are steadily climbing toward that record. As of Aug. 11, SCCF’s loggerhead nest count for Sanibel and Captiva was 896, while last year’s was 917.

At the start of season, this year’s numbers closely resembled the 2019 season. In 2021 and 2019, only one loggerhead nest was laid in April, compared to 15 in April 2020. May’s activity totaled 199 nests, compared to 203 nests in May 2019. In July — when nesting starts to pick up on the islands — 283 nests were laid. The total is higher than 186 nests in July 2020 and 218 nests in July 2019. The end of sea turtle nesting season is nearing, but 12 new nests have been documented since August started.

On Aug. 10 at 1:30 p.m., the Senkar family contacted SCCF’s hotline after spotting a loggerhead nesting in the dune. The sea turtle, named Flame Lily, was first seen and tagged on the islands earlier this season. Each season, the SCCF chooses a theme to guide the naming of the nesting females. This year the theme is flowers.

In addition, this season has provided sea turtle monitors with an opportunity to survey Captiva at night while relocating nests from the island to Sanibel in advance of a beach renourishment project. The SCCF reported that a side perk of the project is that monitors are able identify previously tagged turtles that would not have otherwise been seen.

Cookies and Cream, first tagged in 2017, was recently located on Captiva — the 11th sighting. She nested four times in 2019 and three times in 2017. Of the four nests she was observed laying this year, two hatched and were inventoried by SCCF volunteers and staff. One of her nests hatched with a 78 percent hatch success. Another nest was partially washed out during Tropical Storm Elsa and only 55 eggs remained. The nest continued to incubate, and 53 eggs hatched.

To report any issues with nests, nesting turtles or hatchlings, call the SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline at 978-728-3663. For tips on how to safely share the shore with sea turtles, visit SanCapLifeSavers.org

Island Update

Fort Myers Film Festival kicks off 12th season

The Fort Myers Film Festival is kicking off its 12th season with the film series “T.G.I.M.” starting on Sept. 6 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers.

Local celebrity judges and attendees get a chance to watch and then weigh in on how they feel about short indie films screened. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; the show begins at 7 p.m.

Grab a drink and intellectualize with host Eric Raddatz and co-host Melissa DeHaven, while mixing and mingling with other Southwest Florida film connoisseurs the first Monday of every month in season. Special guests, musical acts and interviews will be announced prior to each Monday night. Bring your ticket from the event and join the after-party at Blu Sushi downtown. The schedule is as follows:

  • Sept. 6: Dancer, choreographer, producer and founder of Glam Bam Burlesque Rose Burstein, actress Cassidy Reyes and the Collaboratory’s Tessa LeSage
  • Oct. 4: Food and travel writer Blakely Trettenero, artist Cesar Aguilera and TV host and anchor Amy Oshier
  • Nov. 1: WGCU’s John Davis, filmmaker Wendy White and Florida Repertory Theatre Associate Artistic Director Jason Parrish
  • Dec. 6: Philanthropist Marc Collins, Downtown Diva Stephanie Davis and filmmaker Justin Verely
  • Jan. 3: Singer Sheena Brook, editor Sheldon Zoldan and art therapist Ashley Randolph
  • Feb. 7: Filmmakers Anna Honorata, John Biffar and KT Curran
  • March 7: Musician Johnny Jensen, director Jim Griffith and ABC7s Amanda Lojewski

For more information or tickets, visit https://www.sbdac.com/tgim-landing-2022/ or call 239-333-1933.

Island Update

John R. Wood to serve as sponsor

The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge reported that John R. Wood Properties is a Great Blue Heron sponsor for the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s 33rd annual “Ding” Darling Day celebration. The event will take place on Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lakes Park, at 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers. The free community event will feature tours, activities and more. For more information about the event, visit

JRW Sponsor

https://www.dingdarlingsociety.org/. For information about sponsorships, contact April Boehnen at april@dingdarlingsociety.org or 239-472-1100 ext. 4.