Funky water adding to uncertainty for FMB

Posted at 7:27 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 19:27:29-05

FORT MYERS BEACH, FL - Fort Myers Beach businesses are uncertain for the future as dirty water continues to plague the area from Lake Okeechobee discharges.

The recent water crisis comes as businesses on Fort Myers Beach are facing hard times from construction, the Canadian economy and bad weather.

"Our business is probably down 50% just because of the road construction," said Scott Safford, owner of The Sea Gypsy Inn on Fort Myers Beach.

Safford says the slow down on Estero Blvd isn't the only thing slowing down his hotel and stop shop, "now the water."

Colored and crippling, Safford says it's a problem he doesn't need, especially during high season.

"If the water looks like it does now, why would you want to put up with that instead of going a few hours north or half an hour south."

Safford has alredy had several cancellations from people who were planning to spend their vacation on the water. It's a trend he just can't afford.

"I've got employees and I try to take car of everyone. But if we are affected now, it's going to really affect us down the road. It's going to mean I'm going to have to do some budget things later in the year just to stay afloat."

Tourists to the area are also noticing a change.

"It's brown, it stinks, it's cold," said Jordan Giesen, a visitor from New Mexico. "It doesn't look very appealing to get into to go swimming in," he adds.

The lack of appeal is leading to concern for Safford, "It's tough to be a business man right now. I wish I could say I was guardedly optimistic. I'm not. I'm worried."