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Home Show draws crowd to Lee Civic Center

October 4, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , North Fort Myers Neighbor

After spending the first couple of years at a different location, the Fort Myers 2017 Home & Remodeling Show came to the Lee Civic Center for the first time for three days this past weekend.

Judging by the steady crowds that came, it could become the permanent home in the near future.

Southwest Florida's biggest home show featured more than 120 exhibits from local businesses on everything you would want regarding your home, from floors to doors, spas and pavers, the kitchen and pool, and much more.

Article Photos

Brian Santos, The Wall Wizard, speaks with some people at the Fort Myers Home & Remodeling Show at the Lee Civic Center on Friday.

CHUCK BALLARO

Many more might have come, but many of the roofers and other companies were out doing work to repair homes from Hurricane Irma.

Jackielou, of Professional Show Management, the company that runs the event, said the show started in 2015 at the Harborside Event Center, with the intent to do two shows a year.

After the January 2017 show, which drew more than 16,000 attendees, Harborside closed so they could build a hotel next door. Jackielou needed a venue.

"We thought why not bring a show back to the Lee Civic Center. They haven't had one in a long time," Jackielou said. Originally, they did two days, but we're doing three days here."

Some exhibitors were skeptical, since Lee Civic Center is further away. Jackielou said it's only 15 minutes from downtown, with lot of growth there, including Babcock Ranch.

Jackielou said the exhibitors were pleased with the constant flow of people the first day, even though it was a Friday and it was raining. The two weekend shows were expected to draw better crowds, though perhaps not the level of the January shows.

The idea was for the local businesses to develop leads in which to grow their client base.

Among the main attractions included the Wall Wizard, Brian Santos, who gave visitors the tricks to the trade regarding paint, wallpaper and faux finishes.

He gave people advice on how to eliminate mold from the house. Hint: Don't ever use bleach.

Use hydrogen peroxide to wash the walls and rubbing alcohol and baking soda to rinse. Santos said the gypsum in the sheetrock provides food for mold, which is why mold is abundant inside homes.

The big stars were local businesses which promoted garage door openers, storm shutters, charitable organizations and even beauty products.

Stephanie Davis, procurement director for Habitat for Humanity, said the shows are helpful to get the name out as an organization that's more than just building homes for people in need.

"We have the Restores and not many people know we have them. I'm here to educate people about it," Davis said.

"We accept new and gently used furniture, and building supplies and sell them to help fund our mission. The Restores funded 17 homes last year."

Paul Hanson, office manager at Vittur Construction in Fort Myers, which builds custom kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, said they've been coming to these kinds of shows for five or six years and they have helped immensely.

"For the cost we put into it and the people we see, if we get three or four good responses, we've paid for everything," Hanson said. "Sometimes people will call a year or two later and ask us for work."

The Fort Myers Home & Remodeling Show will return to the civil center from Jan. 5 to 7.

 
 

 

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