The Oak Park Inn is still in shambles more than three months after Hurricane Irma hit Southwest Florida.
Christopher Banks, the owner of the historic hotel on West Oak Street in Arcadia, says he’s not getting any help from the federal government.
“I got this letter from SBA [Small Business Administration] about a week ago that says your loan request has been denied,” Banks said.
The 114-year-old hotel closed after the storm caused mold and gaping holes in the ceiling.
“It just like a clock stopped you know,” Banks said. “If we just got funding for the roof and got it back on, most of this could have been avoided.”
Banks believes where there is a will, there is a way. He is getting repair estimates and hoping other organizations can help.
“It is what it is, and my mission now is to get it back to what it was,” Banks said. “It will please me again to see the smiling faces of my guests that came to this Inn.”
Repairs to the roof would cost about $50,000, Banks said. Wind damage was not covered in his insurance.
Banks reached out to the SBA and even Senator Bill Nelson’s office in hopes they would reconsider his application for funding.