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Bonita Springs leaders: Hertz will be a boon for the area

May 7, 2013
Hertz moving headquarters to Estero, Fla: Resident...
Hertz moving headquarters to Estero, Fla: Resident...: Estero residents were caught by surprise Tuesday when they learned rental car giant Hertz plans on building its headquarters in their community. Estero residents are excited about Hertz creating at least 700 jobs. Video by Chris Umpierre
Mayor Ben Nelson /


Bonita Springs City Manager Carl Schwing says Hertz's move to Estero is positive economic news for Lee and Collier counties.

"We do expect some overflow into Bonita Springs. The site that they selected (northeast corner of U.S. 41 and Williams Road) is literally 10 minutes outside our northern boundary," he said.

"When you’ve got a company of Hertz's stature coming to the area, first of all it's just good for the area. The name recognition alone might well set Lee County up for more corporate relocations and of course that would bode well for the future.

"More importantly though is the prospect of 700 jobs down here and of course those folks are going to be shopping our stores. They’re going to be buying our homes. They’re going to be eating in our restaurants."

Schwing suspects the company chose the area in part because of its amenities and weather.

"We're always hopeful that what it means is additional folks who would like to come and visit the neighbor Bonita Springs and all the wonderful amenities we have here to offer, whether it be our downtown, the beautiful Imperial River, our beaches," he said.

"I'm sure that knowing the Lee County economic development council that this was an a important project and I'm sure that the county welcomed them with open arms and was flexible in trying to get some things accomplished that Hertz felt was important."

From earlier today

Bonita Springs Mayor Ben Nelson believes the arrival of Hertz will be the beginning of a trend of companies moving to the area.

"Southwest Florida is perfect for these corporate headquarters because of the lifestyle that we offer, because of the tax structure, because of our business-friendly nature," he said.

"I think it bodes well for Bonita Springs and for south Lee County in general."

Christine Ross, president and CEO of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Bonita Springs-Estero Economic Development Council, said Hertz's decision to choose Southwest Florida is a tremendous victory for the area.

"There are a lot of states out there trying to very hard to attract companies. The competition is fierce," she said.

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"It's a great opportunity for the community to have a Fortune 500 corporate headquarters here providing year-round jobs with benefits and for them to be able to enjoy the qualities of our work force."

Nelson said it's a quantum leap to have the world's largest rental car agency in town.

"It changes the way that we do business as a community, as a county and as a region immediately. Bam! It changes the character and the perception nationally when this group of people come down here. These are people of means who do business all over," he said.

"Instead of just being a retirement service community where people just kind of eat and retire, go to the movies, play golf, no, it’s going to be a place where corporate headquarters come to live, where people are attracted to that lifestyle. The schools are going to get better. Entertainment opportunities are going to get better, shopping and retail.

"There'll be other companies that need to do business with them, want to do business with them, other corporate entities."

Nelson and Ross are attending Gov. Rick Scott's formal announcement today about the company moving here.

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