A cool deserted home that is develop into an iconic attraction offshore of Florida’s Marco Island has survived a number of hurricanes — till now.
What’s taking place: Hurricane Ian wiped the remaining components of the Cape Romano dome residence into the Gulf of Mexico final week.
- “They’re utterly beneath the water now,” Marco Island boat captain Nate Lapierre, who runs ecotourism firm Florida Island Excursions, instructed Axios concerning the domes.
Background: In 1982, a retired impartial oil producer, Bob Lee, had the Cape Romano dome home in-built Ten Thousand Islands, close to Marco Island, a Collier County tourism division spokesperson instructed Axios.
- Lee bought the property and, in response to Lapierre, it was deserted in 1994. In 2005, a purchaser named John Tosto paid $300,000 for the property with plans to revive it.
- Nonetheless, months after he purchased it, Hurricane Wilma eroded the underlying seashore. By 2010, the domes had been utterly within the water. The buildings remained privately owned, however the now-submerged land was deemed a part of the state-owned Rookery Bay Aquatic Protect.
- In 2016, Tosto provided to sink the domes and switch them into a synthetic reef, however there was an outcry from the general public, which appreciated them seen.
- In 2017, Hurricane Irma knocked two of the domes underwater, Lapierre stated, and Ian completed them off.
Between the traces: It stays unclear if the domes may very well be reworked into a synthetic reef. Marco Island is not nice for diving as a result of sediment within the water retains visibility low, Lapierre stated.
- “Most days the water appears someplace between chocolate milk and inexperienced tea,” he stated.
What they’re saying: Lapierre stated his enterprise is at present unable to perform. He hasn’t been capable of examine on harm to his boats as a result of the marina the place he shops them has been closed, and the storm destroyed the one boat ramp in Marco Island for individuals to entry the water.
- “Each native enterprise proprietor I’ve talked to is like, ‘Properly, we will take October to determine what’s unsuitable, and we’ll get open as quickly as we will,'” Lapierre stated.
- Fortunately, he stated, September and October are sluggish months for tourism in Marco Island. The easiest way for South Floridians to assist is to go to as soon as enterprise resumes.
The Rookery Bay Aquatic Protect did not return Axios’ requests for remark.
What to look at: Individuals are sharing images, video and recollections of the now-sunken website on a Fb web page referred to as RIP Dome Homes.
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