To the editor:
The recent opening of the Boathouse at the Yacht Club proves once again just how money hungry our City Council and management are!
The facility itself is excellent and kudos are due its creators. But where, I ask, can the average family, who daily patronize the beach, go for a cool beverage and hot dog for their children without breaking the bank?
The previous concession, while lacking in menu merchandising and flair, at least offered prices that one would expect to pay at a public park beach! Instead we now have another badly needed sports bar with its accompanying costly menu. Only just with a beautiful view in place of TV sets.
Going to the deck, getting a liquid refreshment, taking an open table and enjoying the sunset is a now a thing of the past. Now, you are confronted by a charming hostess who will gladly escort you to a table where a server will take your order. Bar stools have been thoughtfully placed along the shelf like perimeter railing. Severs will also take your order there, as well as on the public beach front.
Tips, of course, are customary.
The Boathouse seems to have claimed eminent domain over this area as their personal private property. Oh yes, they do offer "take out," which the aforementioned families will greatly appreciate, especially the $8.95 hot dog!
Also, has anyone addressed the parking issue? The weekend before the Boathouse opened there were no open parking spaces in any of the public parking lots at noon. Will the Boathouse be forced to bus their customers in, as has been suggested? Better yet, and I am sure our forward thinking City Manager and his City Council cohorts most likely already have it in mind. Just charge a parking fee, same as Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach, and let the additional revenue divide and sort out that little problem!
This is not meant as a criticism of the Boathouse. They have spent considerable time and sums, but they have just seriously misjudged the market mainly available to them in a public, tax-supported park. Also, the city's administration, in its constant greed for increased revenues from the new facility, willing encouraged them in that direction, in total disregard of the wants, needs and desires of its own citizens!
Richard V. Schumann