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Rumors Hair Design still closed with Fort Myers Yacht Basin closure

Rumors Hair Design
Posted at 8:53 PM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-04 05:17:13-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — After Hurricane Ian ripped through the Fort Myers Yacht Basin , the basin was declared unsafe and uninhabitable and was closed down by the city.

Three months later and very little progress has been made to reopen it.

Marcia Schwalm has served clients for 14 years at Rumors Hair Design.

Schwalm's salon was built in a boathouse and she now counts the days when she can welcome back her clients.

“Everyone feels when they come here that they’ve almost gone on a cruise. It’s so relaxing for them to get their hair done here,” she said.

From the relaxing blue ocean decor to the mesmerizing views of the Caloosahatchee River from her deck.

She said God gave her the vision of building a salon on a houseboat.

“I'm not supposed to give up this fight. God tells us to persevere and I have to persevere,” she said.

The yacht basin is shutdown and has not running water or electricity.

“My business is down $45,000 dollars in the last 14 weeks,” she said.

Luckily she said she’s been able to see some clients.

“I was able to rent some chairs at the Beehive Hair Studio.”

Still she said it’s not where she wants to be.

“No one cares, except for me and my clients,” she said.

$80,000 dollars is what the City of Fort Myers is paying to keep the yacht basin staffed with security guards.

That could increase to $145,000 dollars to keep security services through February 11th.

The City of Fort Myers will be discussing it in a meeting Tuesday evening.

Schwalm said she isn’t happy about the money being spent on security.

“The money for security they can be using to repair the marina.”

She’s not the only one who thinks that.

“I think if they just let us police it ourselves,” said Jeff Wipert.

On top of that Wipert said boat owners are only allowed on the property on weekdays from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm.

“Now you can’t come on the weekends. 10 o’clock to six at night. Your day is half over,” he said.

With the limited hours Schwalm said it’s been tough for boat owners to repair their boats.

She just hopes the Fort Myers City Council will speed up recovery efforts.