MARATHON, FLORIDA — Bass Pro Shops will open a first of its kind fishing resort in the Florida Keys, thanks in part to $1.3 million from the state’s Job Growth Grant Fund. The grant will support infrastructure improvements at the intersection of Highway US-1 (Overseas Highway) and Banana Boulevard.
Together, the infrastructure project and resort are expected to support new business development, build workforce housing and fuel economic growth in the City of Marathon. Governor Ron DeSantis announced the news on Thursday at a press conference on Valhalla Island alongside Bass Pro Shops CEO Johnny Morris and Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Secretary Dane Eagle.
ATTRACT FISHING TOURISM
“People come from all over the world to fish in Florida, but particularly to fish in the Florida Keys. We realize how special that is and we want to continue to have that and attract people,” DeSantis said. “Because the economy has done well here and because we have record budget surplus, we have been able to invest in a lot of targeted infrastructure.”
Infrastructure improvements will widen US-1, add a turn lane at the intersection of U and add nearly a mile of new sewer lines to increase wastewater capacity for the entire system. The governor said that the project is expected to generate approximately 500 new jobs and create an economic impact of over $3 million.
WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS
After lamenting “Bidenflation,” the governor praised his administration’s ability to mitigate those suffering from higher costs. The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state.
“We put our money where our mouth is,” DeSantis said. “We’ve made huge improvements. 1.1 billion dollars in water quality improvements since I became governor. 1.1 billion for the Resilient Florida program and 1.7 billion dollars for Everglades restoration projects.”
Morris praised the governor’s conservation efforts, as well as his commitment to standing up for other issues.
“I don’t know if everybody here realizes, but the governor has been a steadfast supporter of conservation, in a common-sense sort of way,” he said. “I don’t know if anybody realizes but he helped support and just signed the largest conservation budget in the state of Florida.”