Image of the Phil Laishley wall, located in Laishley Crab House
Ron Evans began his hospitality industry career in 1973 at the El Conquistador Country Club in Bradenton, FL. After 2 years, Ron was offered the Manager's position at the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club in Port Charlotte, FL. Two years later, Ron was recruited by the Royal Palm Yacht Club in Ft. Myers, FL, to become their General Manager.
During his tenure at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, Ron met many of the local Charlotte County business people. After a year at Royal Palm, Ron returned to Punta Gorda, FL, to partner in the Earl Nightingale's Restaurant at the then new development, Fishermen's Village. Ron designed and operated Earl Nightingale's Restaurant until 1993 when the company went through a conceptual change, which included the name change to The Captain's Table and the development of a new restaurant concept, Harpoon Harry's.
In 1989, Ron managed Victoria Estates Event Center for several years until hard times fell on the developer. After going through several owners of Victoria Estates, Ron was recruited in 1998 to resume management of the event center. This relationship continued until Hurricane Charley in 2004.
In 2005, Ron and his management team became full-time caterers and formed Smuggler's Catering Department. Growing steadfastly, in 2006, Ron and his team first developed the new restaurant concept, Smuggler's Grille, and then developed the inception of another new restaurant concept, Laishley Crab House, which opened in August, 2009.
Today Ron's partners, management team and employees are a formidable force in our area's event planning as well as restaurant operations.
Bruce Laishley has not only owned and operated retail stores and businesses in Charlotte County since 1975, but he has also developed large and small-scale projects in Charlotte County during the last three decades as Southwest Land Developers, Inc. ("SLD") with his partner, Rick Treworgy. SLD projects include, but are not limited to, the following:
Airport Commerce Center, Punta Gorda, Florida - A 375 acre industrial park in which Southwest Land Developers acquired land, worked with county staff to form the ECAP district, and designed and built over four miles of industrial standard roads, utilities and a storm water system.
Waste Services, Inc., Recycling Facility and Landfill, Punta Gorda, Florida - Designed, permitted, and built the new C&D Landfill located on Zemel Road. This 373.5 acre landfill required permits from Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Solid Waste Division, FDEP Environmental Resource Permit, State of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Southwest Land Developers, Inc., also built the 52 acre landfill on Zemel Road in 1997.
In October 2007, Gulfshore Business featured Bruce, and highlighted his upbringing, his father, former Mayor Phil Laishley, and how he has continued his father's business savvy and philanthropic spirit. "Bruce has a midas touch; everything he touches turns to gold, and business people would be fools not to follow in his footsteps." – Bob Carpenter, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.
Bruce also owns Southwest Engineering & Design, Inc. with Rick Treworgy, specializing in civil engineering, land planning, permitting, and consulting. Recent projects include the Airport Commerce Center roads and storm water retention. Other Charlotte County projects include lake and mine excavations, mixed use commercial/retail sites, parking lot designs, and road improvements.
Rick Treworgy has managed and owned retail operations, along with construction and development companies in Charlotte County since 1968.
Throughout high school he worked in his family's truck and tractor business. Starting in 1965, he was a men's clothing buyer and worked in management for Bealls Department start until 1970. After his years at Bealls he went back to his family's business until they closed it in 1972. Thereafter, Rick was always involved in the construction business, first working as a trim carpenter, and then for years, he owned and operated Treworgy Construction, where he built new and remodeled homes in Punta Gorda Isles.
In the early 1980's Rick started Coastal Trailer Sales. He specialized in selling a wide variety of trailer parts, and new & used trailers. He sold this business in 1987.
Around 1983 he started Rick's Motorcars, an operation that would see the creation of one of the largest tourist attractions in Charlotte County.
Since 1990, Rick has served as the President of Southwest Land Developers, Inc., a successful development company with his partner, Bruce Laishley, which has completed several significant projects throughout Southwest Florida, as outlined above. He is also Vice-President of Southwest Engineering and Design, also with his partner, Bruce Laishley, as outlined above, and President of Florida Lakes, LLC.
In 2008, Rick Treworgy bought the old Wal-Mart building in Punta Gorda on Tamiami Trail. He remodeled it to display for public enjoyment his personal collection of more than 200 muscle cars, known as the Muscle Car City Museum. Since its opening March 15th, 2009, he has had more than 15,000 visitors to his museum. Muscle Car City has quickly become one of the top five attractions to Charlotte County. Rick has the largest GM muscle car display in the nation. Rick has hosted over 8 very successful events at his museum, since inception bringing both international and national tourists to the area. Rick's Café, a 1950's style diner is also operated inside of the museum for that classic added touch of nostalgia.