Hurricane Ian’s surge wiped out some of the most popular spots that mean so much to our community. Now many are focused on the plan to rebuild.
For Cape Coral, rebuilding is at the top of their list. For months now, the Cape Coral Yacht Club has been serving as a reminder of Ian’s power. Now, they are focused on looking ahead.
The plan is to renovate this 50-year-old facility, so it is ready for the next 50 years.
Before Hurricane Ian, Cape Coral had already planned to shut the Yacht Club down for repairs. The city was waiting on permits when the storm hit.
Now, there’s more to be done, which will cost a lot more money.
“It was not believable. It was like going into an alternate dimension. Everything was destroyed,” said Jerry Ramsden.
Ramsden has lived in the area for 15 years. He has many fond memories of the Yacht Club, especially The Boat House.
“That was one of our favorite places to go to and walk around here on the beach and watch the sunset from the beach is quite pretty in the evening,” said Ramsden.
“We see weddings almost every weekend, and people just enjoy it,” said John Fearon.
It’s clear there’s a ton of work to be done to fix the Yacht Club.
Mayor John Gunter knows that and knows that work is on top of the renovations the city hoped to do before the storm.
“We know we have to do some repairs on those facilities, but we have to determine if those repairs exceed the 50% rule. Because if it does, then that’s a whole different level of a scope of work than just a simple repair,” said Gunter.
Ian washed away the pier, so that is one of the additional repairs that have to be made.
A structural engineer examined the facilities to see what else must be fixed.
As the city council discusses what’s next, Ramsden is conflicted. He knows change is needed, but doesn’t want the Yacht Club to change too much.
“They need more room for people to park here, but then that’s part of the growth thing, right? If you get too much growth, then what was so special about it is lost,” said Ramsden.
The city will talk about a partial reopening of the Yacht Club. That would happen once the boathouse restaurant finishes its repairs which the mayor said could be next month.