Beach chair business hurting
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Aug. 21, 2013
FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- The ecological disaster facing our local beaches is now becoming a nightmare for some business owners.
Bright colored umbrellas and comfortable chairs line fort myers beach... the only problem... no one's sitting in them.
Luke Manning makes a living renting out these chairs and umbrellas... today he put out 14 chairs...only two are occupied. normally at this time he would have 40 chairs filled with european sunbathers.
"I chart every year... every day i chart and this year for this month I'm 40% off last year."
Its gotten so bad, people are posting signs calling fort myers beach an "eco-terror zone."
John Heim is another beach operator.
He's practically given up.
Cushions and recliners and just sitting there in stacks.
He says all his european clients have checked out and gone elsewhere.
Heim says "soon as they take a look at the water they ask for their money back."
The mayor of Fort Myers Beach feels their pain.
He's urging everyone to put the pressure on congress to fund projects that will clean and store water from lake "O" during the rainy season.
Alan Mandel points out that "Senator Nelson went into harry Reid's office and put a jar of water on
his desk and said we have a problem.
They've done their part... now we need to encourage our representatives in the house to release those funds."
For businessman Luke Manning, congress can't approve those projects fast enough.
His customers don't want to buy what he's selling.
He said that his European customers "thought it looked like they were putting sewage into the ocean... the German people, the european people they come here and see the waters... its so dirty."
The Sanibel Save the Bay, SWFL Citizens for Clean Water and the Sierra Club are all joining forces and will be lining the Sanibel causeway this saturday starting at 9 a-m to get people to focus on this issue.