Gary Israel

Whew! Please mark me ‘safe’ in arriving into the new year, 2023!! 

I am so ready to turn the calendar page over to a new year. I love new beginnings – a chance to start over! Just think about the last few years, COVID-19, crime, border issues, inflation, energy costs, mid-term elections, and oh, yes, Hurricane Ian. So much noise, confusion and distraction! Anyone else feeling this way? I am praying that each and every one of you find a new sense of peace and encouragement as we start this new year.

January is one of my favorite issues each year as we project the findings and predictions of those ‘in the know’ to help us to understand the economic outlook for our area. We are happy to report that Estero is well positioned to not only recover from the many growth and economic issues of our times, but to excel in many areas. One thing for certain is that the character of Estero will continue to change – pleasing some but shocking to many.

This year there is so much at stake that our editorial staff has divided the information into three segments. We invite you to read each feature carefully to understand and reflect on how each area will affect you personally. Our Cover Story, “Economic Outlook: 2023,” encourages all of us to “brace for change” as our area is transformed. Our second feature story tells us “Home Sales Stay Hot,” taking a look at the local real estate market along with associated insurance concerns. Rounding out the trio of features, we asked experts, “Will Our Waters Recover” following Hurricane Ian? We look into water quality issues and the effect on local tourism. 

Estero Life will continue following these topics over the course of this next year. We all need to be accountable and proactive in caring for our slice of Southwest Florida paradise. Patience and understanding may also be required through the growing pains! A HUGE thank you to all who contribute to our community’s well-being and growth management.

This month’s Village Connection presents a Year in Review, highlighting parks and rec updates, along with roadway, utility and water quality improvements.

Our dining feature this month introduces the newest hotspot in Bonita Springs, AQUA! This sister location of the Naples 5th Avenue concept is in the former Perkins at the corner of Bonita Beach Road and U.S. 41. There is an extensive menu featuring locally sourced meats, seafood and vegetables. Live music of many genres keeps the party going into the wee hours. We know that some of our favorite dishes will quickly become some of your favorites, too!

And don’t forget to check out upcoming events in our “Best Bets,” along with photos from the “Scene” at two recent events – Biz Kidz Expo at Miromar Outlets and the highly successful Light Up Estero community holiday celebration.


Until next month, remember to…

Enjoy the Good Life: Estero Life!!


Gary Israel, President & Publisher 

Estero Life Magazine


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