Florida business owners impatient over insurance money after Hurricane Ian

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

A silly and funny joke shows the harsh reality for businesses hit hardest by Ian.

Just like many others, the Kona Kai motel has been waiting months for insurance money to help them get back to as close as normal as possible after Hurricane Ian.

But now, the owners of the Kona Kai motel say they have had enough.

They tell WINK News they have been waiting seven-plus months to get enough money to cover the clean-up.

They think it will cost a couple of million dollars to get the work done.

Damage done to business by Hurricane Ian. CREDIT: WINK News

If getting people’s attention was an instrument, the owners at Kona Kai motel are playing the saxo-bone.

They have displayed a skeleton lounging in a chair with a sign that reads: “Just waiting for the insurance check.”

People stop by to take photos of the sign.

“Yeah, unfortunately, they’re pulling up on the bike path, which is not cool, the city’s not gonna like that at all,” said Denise Rodenburg. “My husband laughs and says you’re going to have to get a traffic cop out there one of these days.”

Denise and her husband just want to build their business back up from the bones of their motel buildings that Hurricane Ian left behind.

But it’s not easy.

“Amazon delivered it to my house on the island a couple of days ago and I said you can just drop that, and he said it’s really light. I said yeah because it’s a skeleton,” she said.

Denise hopes she isn’t a skeleton before she can finally cash her insurance company check.

She said the clean up costs $330,000 and insurance only advanced her $67,000.

“We’ve got workers lined up,” she said. “Everything is fine, except for the insurance piece.”

Denise said she is not only trying to make ends meet, but keep her staff on board and eventually get some doors back on the five buildings at the Kona Kai.

How does she deal with the frustration?

“You make little sign paint signs, dress skeletons.”

Once the doors at Kona Kai are open again, it’ll be a staple piece. And a representation of how far the community has come, just once more people get a little more assurance from their insurance.

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