Industry businesses fight Florida speed zones

NAPLES, Fla. – Charter boat captains in Naples, Fla. have joined others with sizable investments in the marine industry to fight slower boat speeds on Naples Bay, according to a story in Friday’s Naples Daily News.

Phil Jentzen’s family owns Naples Marina and can’t afford the financial hit if boaters turn their attentions to a more boater-friendly city, Jentzen told the newspaper.

He said the financial implications of reduced boat speeds were “horrifying.” Selling and maintaining boats is a multimillion-dollar industry in Naples, the newspaper reported. If the city makes it difficult for boaters to enjoy themselves, they’ll go elsewhere, Jentzen said.

“Most people who come to Naples have a choice. They don’t have to come [here]. They can just as easily go to Charlotte County,” Jentzen said.

Naples City Council members recently approved the addition of weekday slow speed zones and other restrictions to existing zones, but won’t take a second vote until Oct. 6, the newspaper reported.

A handful of business owners met last week to talk strategy, and emerged with a plan to create a political action committee and public education program to fight the proposed changes, according to the newspaper.

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