Punta Gorda Airport Poised to Bring Growth to Charlotte


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, February 18th, 2014 – The pieces look falling in the right places for a more dynamic economy in Charlotte County, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports, adding that one emerging catalyst for growth is the Punta Gorda Airport.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air, the airport’s lone commercial carrier, added two more Punta Gorda flight destinations in December on top those it has added in previous months.  These latest route additions are Long Island, NY, and Cedar Rapids, IA. In mid-February, the airline is adding Columbus, OH, and Portsmouth, NH.

Visitor arrivals and jobs


The Charlotte County Airport Authority (CCAA) is confident that Allegiant Air won’t go the way of Direct Air which too served Punta Gorda but discontinued operations in March last year and filed for bankruptcy. CCAA executive director Gary Quill noted that besides its airline revenue, Allegiant also generates non-aviation earnings like those from hotel bookings and car rentals.

It was estimated that with the expanded coverage, which encompasses some 20 markets already, the airline shall be bringing in about one million passengers to Punta Gorda annually. The airline also added 100 new jobs on account of its Charlotte expansion initiatives.

Marketing campaign

Local job growth, one of the prime drivers of economic development, is also expected to be stimulated by the scheduled improvement of the Punta Gorda airport facilities to handle additional Allegiant flights. The makeover includes enlarging the airport’s Baily Terminal by more than double to 40,000 square feet from 16,000 square feet. A new rental car lot and expansion of the Transportation Security Administration inspection area are also part of the project which was budgeted for $7 million.

Complementing this recent developments, Charlotte County is launching a marketing promotion campaign aimed at out-of-state businesses in cities where Allegiant Airlines has flights to and from Punta Gorda. Notably, county residents polled at the Charlotte Assembly are even agreeable toward a budget boost for this campaign. Plans are afoot to raise the current one-cent sales tax in the county and allocating 15% of the collected revenue to the marketing effort.

Draws for locators, home buyers

A leading Italian aeronautic manufacturer, OMA SUD, is one of the latest out-of-state companies to see the advantage of locating in Punta Gorda. It partnered recently with a local company, Aviation Partners Group, for the establishment of a manufacturing facility in Charlotte. Cited as favorable factors were Punta Gorda’s supply chain and available labor. Punta Gorda also has a great potential as a distribution hub with its strategic location between Sarasota and Fort Myers.

Choices in a golf community

This favored location plus attractive residential choices can likewise be an incentive for prospective home buyers.  Some sales-listed properties that may be worth considering are at Punta Gorda Isles, which is a short distance west of the airport.

This community is located adjacent to the Twin Isles Country Club, and many of its residences are waterfront homes with golf course views. There are sales-listed properties here priced in the high $200s, featuring three bedrooms within floor plans ranging from 1,800 to 2,700 square feet.