Community and tourism champion Mark O. Asperilla, M.D., has been selected as the 2018 Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame inductee and will be inducted during the annual tourism luncheon on Thursday, May 10 at 11 a.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center. The Hall of Fame was established in 2014 to honor those who have had a substantial and long-standing body of work that has positively impacted tourism in Charlotte County.  

Over the decades, Dr. Asperilla has improved the lives of many through his internal medicine practice. He has also raised the visibility of Charlotte County as a tourism destination through his creation and support of numerous events and endeavors. In 2008, he opened the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Port Charlotte, Charlotte County’s first hotel after 2004’s Hurricane Charley. The property implemented dozens of “eco-friendly” amenities including interior energy saving technology, biodegradable laundry detergents, and xeriscaping.

In 2013, Dr. Asperilla purchased the Fishery Restaurant in Placida from the Albritton family who owned it for more than 25 years. Under his ownership, outdoor dining and entertainment were added to the waterfront restaurant and continues to serve a slice of Old Florida.

Charlotte County is known in the amateur boxing community because of Dr. Asperilla’s efforts. He was instrumental in the recruiting and/or contributing to high-profile boxing events to Charlotte County which have resulted in thousands of rooms nights and millions of dollars in direct expenditures. These events include several Golden Gloves State and National Championships, as well as 2016 Sugar Bert Boxing National Qualifier and 2011 Women’s Golden Gloves National Championship. He has also sponsored the Charlotte Harbor Regatta which formed in 2009. Sugar Bert Boxing will return to Charlotte County on June 2 and 3, 2018.  

Tickets are available until May 7. The event will take place May 10 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center located at 75 Taylor St, Punta Gorda, Fla. 33950. The luncheon will have a cultural theme and will celebrate how cultural heritage enriches the travel experience. Keynote speaker is filmmaker Kevin Willmott.

Cost to attend the May 10 lunch is $20 per person. Those interested in attending the luncheon can do so by registering online at 2018luncheon.eventbrite.com or by calling (941) 743-1900 no later than May 7, 2018. All tickets are general admission and there is no assigned seating.

Annually, the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau conducts marketing, sales and promotional campaigns to increase awareness of and visitation to Charlotte County. In addition to generating economic contributions, the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau is also focused on developing soft adventure or ecotourism, a low-impact industry enabling the county to preserve the invaluable natural resources that contribute to its ecological health, distinguish the area and draw visitors. During calendar year 2016, Charlotte County welcomed an estimated 406,700 visitors, tourism generated an estimated $362,227,100 in direct expenditures, and made an estimated $552 million economic impact.

Click for image of 2018 Charlotte County Tourism Hall of Fame inductee, Mark O. Asperilla, M.D.