Monday, January 25, 2010

Hard Times

On my daily walks, I pass a little hotel set right on Biscayne Bay. The hotel has always had a bit of an "island" feel, like something out of a Jimmy Buffet song, with a thatch-roofed restaurant and a funky but charming vibe. Lately, though, the hotel has become not so much funky as run-down and distinctly lacking in charm.

Like many establishments, the hotel is suffering due to the current economic downturn, compounded by the fact that a new, inexperienced owner purchased it at a high price just before the economy tanked and is now struggling to keep things going. I'm sorry that business has fallen off, but I'm especially sad to see the property deteriorating before my eyes. I understand that with limited funds, major improvements are out of the question. But I wonder why the staff hasn't been instructed to take care of minor problems expeditiously. At the restaurant, a torn shade dangles forlornly. Outdoor decks, which once provided lovely spots for enjoying the view, remain unswept, with rotting seagrapes dotting their wooden flooring. And by the sandy beach, lounge chairs desperately need repair or replacement.

This afternoon, I passed a broken umbrella, laid unceremoniously on its side, and a light fixture drooping dangerously, its wires exposed. Both have been there for days, a depressing testament to poor management, but also to hard times.

1 comment:

  1. Until TWILIGHT and vampires became so popular, Forks was dying a slow death, with many of the buildings on main street sitting empty and dormant. Then Stephanie Myers' book TWILIGHT came out and Forks came to life in a way no one would ever have expected. They had to move the sign "Welcome to Forks" off the cutbank where it sat down to solid ground, because even though they had built a platform around the front so loving fans could have their photos snapped in front of it, so many kept falling and sliding down the gravelly cutbank they were afraid of lawsuits, and now the sign sits safely on the ground. It not only has given a healthy transfusion to the economy here, it has put Forks on the map--a dubious honor I fear. But in the month of May (or maybe it was June) of last year they had more than 30,000 tourists sign in at the Center and most of them were Twilight fans. You know they arrive from all over the world: China, Japan, Australia, all of Europe, Russia. Who would ever have thought it? Most of the business people are praying that she keeps writing those books, and who can blame them. Bonnie