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.