Hotel guests raise a stink over smelly boat ramp

LEE COUNTY – Hotel guests and condo owners are raising a stink over a stench at the Punta Rassa boat ramp. When people pay hundreds of dollars to stay in the Sanibel Harbor Marriot hotel, the last thing they expect is to smell what can only be described as rotten eggs.

“I saw a group of seven people walking down Punta Rassa Rd. trying to go to the restaurant,” said James Simantel, president of the homeowners association at Punta Rassa Condominium. “They all had their faces covered with handkerchiefs.”

Friday, representatives from the Sanibel Harbor Marriot and Punta Rassa Condominium met with officials from Lee County to talk about solutions.

“It’s an obnoxious smell,” said Jim Walker, general manager of Punta Rassa Condominium. “It has hurt our sales here, it has hurt the health of some of the people here and it’s definitely hurt the businesses around it.”

The problem, they suspect, is that the water in a nearby cove just sits, and as a result, starts to stink. Aside from the putrid smell, the traffic to the boat ramp can get pretty bad too. Marriott and Punta Rassa representatives want to make the mangrove area into extra boat ramp parking. They also want to fill in the cove so the water doesn’t get trapped.

“We contribute over $2 million a year in real estate taxes and almost $1 million in tourist tax. We get nothing from it nor have we ever ask for anything,” Walker said. “Now we are.”

Lee County Parks and Recreation agreed to do a study in the area to determine if the problem can be fixed by filling in that cove. There wasn’t a mention of cost for the study.


2 Responses

Leave a Reply
  1. Russ Crawford
    May 31, 2015 - 03:53 PM

    This potential solution of filling in the unused corner of stagnant water with some additional parking slots for folks who are using the Lee County dock to put in their boat is a major multiple win. First, and primarily, it gets the current vehicle and trailer combinations off the main roads to vastly improve traffic and pedestrian safety. This should be cause enough to proceed. However, other benefits include: avoiding illegal parking and the need for greater Lee County law enforcement presence and the associated costs; additional legitimate revenue for Lee County Parks & Recreation due to the additional parking slots and the associated revenue; increased tourism and recreation due to the additional space and availability to legally park; increased health due to the elimination/reduction of the terrible stench odor smell coming from the stagnant water that would become additional parking and finally, the opportunity for Lee County government to do the right thing by her citizens and substantial taxpayers who are currently suffering with the ill effects. – Russ Crawford, Vice-President, Punta Rassa Condo Association

  2. KB
    Jun 02, 2015 - 08:50 AM

    That “rotten egg” smell is hydrogen sulfide. It’s naturally occurring in wetlands in FL and it’s not hurting the sales or health of people down in the Keys. You can’t escape it there! If it’s so noxious that it’s hurting more than delicate sensibilities, we may want to investigate the land management practices of the condo and hotel to see if that isn’t exacerbating water pollution problems. Too much fertilizer and clippings in the water will make for a really stinky mess.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ 18 = 27

Related News