provided to The Santiva Chronicle
Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts (SCBR) Chairman of the Board Tony Lapi and President/CEO Doug Babcock will host and present as guest speakers at the Wednesday, Feb. 22, business luncheon of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce.
The meeting will take place in the newly renovated Old Captiva House flagship restaurant at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa on Captiva Island starting at 11:30 a.m. Lapi and Babcock will talk about what’s next for SCBR in the rebuilding of its four hotels, vacation rentals, and restaurants.
A hospitality industry expert with more than 45 years of experience in Southwest Florida travel and tourism, Lapi hails from Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Syracuse University in New York State. Along with other partners, he acquired the then-called ‘Tween Water Inn in the mid-1970s. Over the course of 15 years, he and his team evolved the resort to become one of the leading full-service beach resorts on Sanibel and Captiva islands. It combines resort lodging, classic Florida cottage lodging, award-winning food and beverage, a marina, a spa, water sports, tennis, two pools, and a pristine stretch of beach.
Lapi has chaired or led many community, civic, and hospitality causes, including United Way, Lee County Tourism Council, and VISIT FLORIDA. His vision and commitment have been instrumental in growing Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts into one of the top hospitality management and marketing organizations in Southwest Florida.
‘Tween Waters remains the cornerstone of SCBR, which, before Hurricane Ian struck, was also operating Beachview Cottages, Castaways Cottages, and West Wind Island Resort. Its Sanibel Captiva Island Vacations arm is back in operation with property listings on both islands.
Also a native of Rochester, New York, and a Syracuse University graduate, Babcock earned an MBA in both finance and economics from New York University Stern School of Business. He began his career in New York City, where for almost 15 years he was a successful member of various Wall Street investment firms.
With family ties to and ownership shares for properties of SCBR, Babcock was recruited to join the corporation in 2010 under an extensive, long-term succession and evolution plan to lead SCBR into its next generation of success.
Babcock believes in corporate and personal investment in Sanibel and Captiva as well and has served a variety of not-for-profits, including board positions with the Florida Lodging & Housing Association, Sanibel-Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, Community Housing and Resources, and partnerships to protect Florida’s vital ecosystem, water quality, and wildlife.
In 2019, the SanCap chamber named SCBR “Business of the Year” under the leadership of Lapi and Babcock.
“When I say these two men are pillars of the resort industry on the islands and even at a state level, it’s no exaggeration,” said John Lai, chamber president and CEO. “Besides their professional achievements, they have thoroughly integrated with their community, as we all witnessed from their generosity and civic vigor during the weeks following Hurricane Ian.”
The chamber business lunch is a monthly networking opportunity held at various member locations. The chamber strives to provide speakers to discuss relevant business topics for the membership. Sanibel-Captiva chamber members receive meeting invitations by email. Cost for luncheon attendance is $35 for chamber members only. Advanced registration is required to attend; walk-ins are not accepted. Register by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, at sanibel-captiva.org or by contacting Aaron Walton at email@example.com or 239-472-8759. Payment is due at time of registration.