SanCap Chamber ribbon-cuttings continue to measure a robust rate of hurricane recovery on Sanibel and Captiva islands. This week, islanders celebrated the reopening of Sanibel’s Sunshine Island Inn at 642 E Gulf Drive on February 13 and Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ at 2050 Periwinkle Way on February 15.

“A small, sweet inn and a grand place of worship – such is the breadth and depth of our recovery,” said John Lai, SanCap Chamber president and CEO. “Every reopening is a victory and tangible demonstration of our community’s cohesive strength.”

Originally opened as Blue Heron Motel in 1963, Sunshine Island Inn came under the ownership of Steve and Denise Rodenburg, also owners of Kona Kai Motel on Sanibel, in 2016

“We are known for nightly rentals with a pool, manatees in the canal behind the motel, and close proximity to the beach,” said Megan Frink, who has managed the five-unit property since the Rodenburgs purchased it. “The property was completely engulfed by Ian. All that remained were concrete block walls and roof rafters.”

A complete rebuild added improvements like impact windows, firewalls, and an ADA-compliant guest suite. The inn officially reopened Jan. 15. Management worked closely with the city of Sanibel on complying to all codes and thanks the chamber for its support throughout the rebuild.

“We always appreciate the SanCap Chamber’s work encouraging tourists to visit the island,” said Frink.


Sanibel Congregational did not miss a beat ministering to its congregation post-hurricane. It met at other island locations starting Oct. 8 and later shared space with the Refuge Church in Fort Myers to gather, worship, and enjoy fellowship together.

“The office has been open for increasing hours since then, while construction has been ongoing,” said Rev. Dr. Mark Boyea, the church’s new senior minister. “We will be celebrating our return to the sanctuary, along with my installation as new pastor, on Sunday, Feb. 18. We will have only one service for the foreseeable future; all activities are back on the calendar, and we welcome everyone.”

The church, originally built in 1985, suffered significant damage. Ground level facilities — offices, classrooms, bathrooms, the fountain, and memorial gardens – were decimated. Roof damage resulted in water intrusion in the main sanctuary. With the rebuild, the church has updated the décor, added accessibility features, upgraded audio and video components, and made other subtle changes to improve everyone’s experience.

“Thanks to the Sanibel chamber for keeping everyone informed, supported, and moving forward,” said Rev. Dr. Mark Boyea. “We still have a long way to go, and we will do it as a community.”


The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. The Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents, and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. Its website,, receives over 1.3 million visits per year. For more information about the chamber, visit or contact John Lai, president and CEO, at 239-472-2348 or [email protected].