May 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the May Edition of my newsletter. Please feel free to reply with a comment. I am always looking to improve on the content for my subscribers.

Also, visit my website to view my listings, search for properties, or to enjoy one of my archived newsletters and stories on Florida History.

Thank you,

Nearly in ruin, FL oranges rebound during pandemic as consumers recall immunity-boosting powers
Oranges are as iconic for Florida as sunny days, Mickey Mouse and sandy beaches, but orange growers have long been struggling, beset by severe weather, a grove-killing bacteria, and adverse market conditions.

Hundreds of growers gave up. It looked like it was time for Florida’s old-school citrus industry to morph into something else or die.

But wait. Sales of classic Florida orange juice, rich in immunity-boosting Vitamin C, skyrocketed in March, up 40 percent in a recent four-week period over the same period a year ago.

The very crop crippled by a disease called citrus greening is getting a new lease on life because it helps resist another disease: coronavirus.

For the week that ended March 14, U.S. consumers bought 6.3 million gallons of fresh (not from concentrate) orange juice, up from 4.5 million in the same week of 2019. That’s a whopping increase of 41 percent.

They bought another 3.6 million gallons of frozen concentrated orange juice in the week that ended March 14, compared with 2.5 million in that week last year. That’s another big increase, at 35 percent.

The total sales of fresh and frozen concentrated OJ for the week ended March 14 was 10.7 million gallons, compared with 7.7 million that week last year, for an overall surge of 40.6 percent.

Those reports came from Nielsen Retail Measurement Services as reported to the Florida Department of Citrus Economic and Market Research Department.

What a turnaround from last fall, when prospects for the industry looked grim.

Florida Citrus Mutual, an industry trade association, said that when Sunshine State growers were able to get back in the game, they found themselves locked out by contracts their traditional buyers had penned at discounts with growers in Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica.

While inventory of authentic Florida-grown citrus accumulated without buyers, consumer demand for orange juice had waned amid concerns about sugar content and competition from sports drinks and high-brow waters, according to the Florida Citrus Commission.

And then the unimaginable happened: coronavirus suddenly changed the world.

Overnight, America’s instinct to superload natural Vitamin C to bolster the human immune system and resist infectious bugs kicked in big time.

Ray Royce, spokesman for citrus growers in Highland County, is optimistic that consumers will continue to prioritize immunity-boosting orange juice in the post-pandemic world.

He predicts they won’t return to processed beverages and they won’t drop their guard against infectious diseases any time soon.

“People will continue to wash their hands more often six months from now than they did six months ago,” Royce said. “Consumption of orange juice was declining, but now stores can’t stock it fast enough. In the long run, will people have developed a new and different habit?”

If consumers decide to permanently adopt orange juice into their lives, its role in bolstering immune systems against coronavirus may be what keeps the Florida citrus industry alive.


LoveBugs are back, need I say more?

2163 SE Highway 70
Arcadia, Florida 34266

(863) 494-1044

Untold Stories introduces cowboys, cowgirls, citrus growers and pickers of Desoto County, Florida. We'll learn about the fire that destroyed Arcadia, and meet some of the town's pioneer families. We find out what Saturday night downtown was all about in the 1920's and 30's And, yes, we'll head to the rodeo to learn when and how this "ride'em cowboy" tradition got started.
25,000+ SqFt Warehouse
240 Sweetwater Rd. Zolfo Springs, FL 33890
Over 25,000 Square Foot Warehouse located in Hardee County in prime location right off US Hwy 17.

Property is on 14.93 Acres and features loading docks, 24' ceiling, and premium office space.

Easy access to many areas, ~97 miles to Orlando, ~80 miles to Tampa, and ~99 miles to East Coast.
5 Acres Off Kings Hwy
SW Albritton St. Arcadia, FL 34266
Beautiful 5 Acre property off Kings Hwy!! Offering a quiet and private setting this is the ideal building site for your dream home. This property is cleared, has culvert in place, and is zoned A-5 with room for a barn, pond, and animals. Located in highly desired area with quick access to Port Charlotte, Interstate 75, or to the downtown Arcadia area. Sarasota and Gulf Beaches within close proximity. This property won’t last long!!

MLS: C7428068

Total Acres: 5

Listing Price: $79,000
SW Peace River St. Arcadia, FL 34269
Over Twenty-Six (26.25) Acres of gorgeous, Florida land located in the Lake Suzy area of DeSoto County, with ¼ Mile of Kings Hwy frontage. Located in an area with good traffic, primed for future development. Just 3 miles to Interstate 75, Shopping Centers, Hotels and Restaurants. Public access to the Peace River at opposite end of Peace River Street. Acreage is currently Zoned A-5. This area has numerous existing and proposed residential developments with a few areas of commercial and light industrial nearby. Easy access to Punta Gorda Airport and Sarasota County.

MLS: C7241812 
Total Acres: 26.25 Acres
Listing Price: $1,200,ooo

Move-In Ready 3/ 2 Waterfront, pool home in the heart of Punta Gorda
310 Caicos Dr. Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Move-In Ready 3 Bedroom 2 Bathroom waterfront, pool home in the heart of Punta Gorda. Great location in Punta Gorda Isles within moments to Fisherman’s Village, the new Library, Hounds on Henry Dog Park, History Park, walking trails and more! You will have quick boating access to Charlotte Harbor with water and electric-ups at dock and a 13,000lb boat lift steps from your back door. Home features over 2,000 sq. ft. with a bright and open floor plan and tile throughout main living area. Gourmet kitchen offers breakfast bar, wood cabinetry, granite counters and an adjoining breakfast nook overlooking the pool. Cathedral ceilings, French doors, decorative built in shelves and arched windows are perfect architectural enhancements. Master Suite has private access to the lanai, a large bath with separate walk-in shower, dual sinks and an oversized walk-in closet. Formal living room, a dining room, separate family room, and two guest rooms complete the home with pool/canal views from almost every room. Plenty of space for outdoor entertaining with 12x12 brick paver decking, a heated pool with waterfall features and solar cover, outdoor shower, raised sun deck, and an enclosed screen pool cage. Lush landscaping leads you down to the water and surrounds the home. Your ideal Florida retreat awaits!

Total Sq Ft: 2,088
Listing price: $549,000
Gorgeous 5 Acre Tracts with Golf Course Views
SW Cypress Bend Ave. Arcadia, FL 34266
Three gorgeous 5+ Acre properties with golf course views in Desoto County. Parcels have privacy with ample space to build your dream home.
You will have convenient access to the newly upgraded public boat ramp with entry onto the Peace River and be just a short drive to Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Arcadia or I-75. 
Come bring your animals and build on these beautiful pieces of land! 

*Parcels pending DeSoto County approval* 

Parcel 1:    5.25 Acres   $94,500  PENDING!
Parcel 2:     5.80 Acres   $92,800
Parcel 3:    5.79 Acres   $81,500

200-1600 ACRES

Call me 863.990.1748 for more info
5 and 10 Acre Parcels in Charlotte Park
8292 Holmes Blvd. Punta Gorda, FL 33982
8264 Duffie Dr. Punta Gorda, FL 33982
5 & 10 Acres Shovel-Ready in growing Charlotte County Airport Park. Bring your business! Infrastructures in place such as city water/sewer and storm water retention. ECAP Zoning (Enterprise Charlotte Airport Park) allows for a multitude of Industrial, Commercial, and Office uses. 10 Acre property has ~670’ of road frontage on the front and ~670’ of road frontage on back, can be divided. Less than 1 mile to Interstate 75 at Exit 161 and sits adjacent to Punta Gorda Airport.

8292 Holmes Blvd.
Total Acres: 5
MLS: C7427867
List price: $382,000

8264 Duffie Dr.
Total Acres: 10
MLS: C7427835
List Price: $763,000
Little Gasparilla Bayfront 3/2 Home
8538 Little Gasparilla Island Placida, FL 33946
By boat or water taxi, arrive at the 100'+ private, newly refinished dock that leads you straight to the front of the house on the oversized lot. The split stairwell welcomes you taking you to the second floor patio that is a perfect place to drink your morning coffee and watch the sunrise. As you enter the home, the spacious living area with a wood-beamed ceiling opens to the kitchen. The large kitchen with walk-in pantry and island are ideal for entertaining. The bedroom windows are adorned with plantation shutters. At the end of the hallway, the master bedroom is complete with its own bathroom. Below the home, features a large lower deck with an enclosed storage area. From there, it's just a short walk down the path to enjoy the amazing sunsets on the beach! There is plenty of the best Florida fishing right from your dock into Placida Harbor and onto the Gulf waters. Just minutes from the back waters of Bull Bay, Whidden creek, Turtle Bay and the world’s greatest Tarpon fishing in Boca Grande Pass.

MLS: C7408868
Total Sq. Ft: 1,360
Listing price: $749,000
About Walt Bethel
Walt Bethel is a fifth generation Floridian, born and raised in Arcadia, with a vast knowledge of all areas of Florida Real Estate and an ardent appreciation for Florida history.  
The purchase and development of his first orange grove when he was just sixteen years old fueled Walt's passion for real estate.  
Since then, he has bought, owned, and sold a wide variety of properties throughout a successful business career. His investments have included acreage, agricultural properties, residential homes, condos, and commercial properties. 
Walt's marketing and sales experience was cultivated over time at his family's business, Bethel Farms, where he marketed, managed, and sold products to "Big Box" retailers across the Southeastern and Midwestern United States.
From an early age, Walt's dad instilled in him the values to work hard and always have a goal, to look for a better way of doing things, and to constantly improve on them.  
The daily implementation of these principles, coupled with his enjoyment of networking with new people and his experience in business, sales, and marketing, have contributed to Walt's success as a Realtor.
 Walt has served on various boards and committees throughout the years. He has coached and actively supports local youth athletic programs and leagues. 
He and his wife Jill, also a fourth generation Floridian, reside in Punta Gorda. They have two children, a daughter Peyton and a son Truman.
Walt Bethel | RE/MAX Harbor Realty| 863.990.1748 | |