Hollywood Beach Restaurants: Without Parking, We Can't Survive Until Margaritaville

Categories: WTFlorida

margaritaville-falmouth-jamaica-588x300.jpg
Beach businesses don't know if they'll be around to see the fruition of Buffett's dream (image via HollywoodMargaritaville.com)
The disappearance of almost 800 parking spaces from Hollywood Beach might be a death sentence for some business owners, who say they can't survive the 30 months until Margaritaville is completed and some of that lost parking returns.

"People are going to come and turn and turn and turn for an hour and say there's no parking and leave," said Hasan Kochan, owner of Istanbul Restaurant, a Turkish eatery on the Broadwalk.

See also: Hollywood Beach Margaritaville Resort Groundbreaking Scheduled for This Week

Last month developer Lon Tabatchnick, backed by hotel giant Starwood Capital, took control of the five-acre site where the 350-room resort will stand. Work was supposed to kick off in March, but hurdles in raising the required $80 million and permitting forced at least two construction delays. Construction crews started revving up more than a month ago, and the official groundbreaking will finally happen this Thursday.

The beginning of work at the beachfront site has meant the closure of the Johnson Street garage in early July, along with an adjacent lot and the disappearance of nearly a third of the beach's about 2,100 public parking spots.

Kochan said in the first days since the garage closed even his employees are having trouble finding a place to stash their car for the day.

"By 9 a.m. every place is jammed because people are rushed to get to the beach," he said.

When it's finished, the resort will have more than 1,000 parking spots, with 600 or so reserved for the public. Now businesses and restaurants are preparing for the more than two years until construction is complete, but are already feeling the effects.

"Over a month there's been a 60 percent to 70 percent drop in business," said Manoucher "Ali" Shaditalab.

He said he brought up the parking concerns to city officials in a June 28 meetings who brushed off the concerns saying "you'll be enjoying the benefits of Margaritaville once it's here."

"I've spoke with the minimarket beside me and he says he can't sustain more than two months," he added.

Not everyone is as pessimistic. Bob Ferro, owner of Nick's Bar & Grille is knocking down the stone-covered beach dive to make way for a three story restaurant and bar he hopes will draw in some of the new tourists who make their way to Buffett land to get lost in beer and rum.

"It's going to make everybody a lot of money," he said, "but it's going to be a big hassle until it's built.




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8 comments
frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

i recently visited hollywood west of young circle and entire restaurants were empty of patrons and most others filled the front sidewalk tables leaving the impression fo being busy but upon closer observation the rest of the place was empty - i had to park in a municipal garage at nominal cost with all spots for the after eight o'clock free parking on the street all occupied

too bad conca d'oro with their free patron parking has been bulldozed

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

limiting parking allows for licensed PREDITORY TOWING operators and the municipal parking violations bureau TO FLOURISH against that most unsuspecting and willing to spend YET not vote group = TOURISTs

locals don't matter

kensandlin
kensandlin

I don't disagree with rrlevy that the local restaurants should invest in some upgrades and there is a little drop in Winter visitors but the past couple of years have seen a pretty steady constant flow of traffic by local families on the beautiful Broadwalk so the summer business isn't dropping like it used to.

I myself have circled up and down the side streets looking for parking from Hollywood Blvd North to past the garage at Garfield that is also often packed.  The garage at the Hollywood Beach Resort is too far South to be a reasonable walk to the main part of the strip closer to Johnson street.

I am lucky to live downtown to be able to sometimes take the trolley but it's very inconsistent in it's half hour stops, often varying by 10 minutes which often causes you to wait for 15 to 20 minutes which is very inconvenient.  A good solution would be for Hollywood to double up the trolleys to every 15 minutes and advertise parking at the downtown garages which often have plenty of room.

Rebekka Rymanowski
Rebekka Rymanowski

I will never go to this stupid resort. It's already hard enough to get a parking spot at Hwd beach.. so ridiculous how they bend over for this to bankrupt the long-time businesses that made the beach what it is.

rrlevy272
rrlevy272

First and foremost, the drop in business is a normal thing during the summer. Second, there are plenty of parking spaces on the South side of the Broadwalk in the Hollywood Beach Resort parking garage. Third, a lot of the stores and restaurants cold seriously benefit from majorly  re-vamping themselves before Margaritaville is finished. And I'm not talking about re-vamp as in a coat of paint and a deep cleaning, I'm talking about re-doing menus, investing in new product lines and getting the old tacky stuff out of your businesses. The area itself has so much room for growth and potential that crying about parking spaces hardly seems to be a reasonable concern. 

Tom Morris
Tom Morris

Oh, once Margaritaville is open, there will be no need for anywhere else! It's a perfect plan! ....... herp derp. Yet another example of what was once a great place being taken over as a playground for rich idiots.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

Sounds like someone wants to starve out the competition before the resort even opens. 

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