If the number of “help wanted” signs greeting patrons at Marathon businesses is any indication, getting a customer service or restaurant job should be easy at the moment.
Following the worst Florida Keys storm in decades on Sept. 10, businesses throughout Monroe County are getting back on their feet following renovations and revamps while others have closed for good.
The Dollar Tree in the bayside plaza near mile marker 53 is hiring, and an employee Wednesday gave a timeline of two weeks before the store opens with all new inventory. Many of the stores in the plaza, which is anchored by Bealls Outlet, sustained damage in the storm.
Bealls reopened in early December while the other businesses in the plaza were on their feet fast after Hurricane Irma.
The restaurant/bar Sparky’s Landing, which used to be on the Sadowski Causeway in Key Colony Beach, has reopened at a new address behind the Holiday Inn Express and Suites at mile marker 54 oceanside. The space used to be the Tarpon Creek restaurant.
There is no update for the reopening of Winn-Dixie, mile marker 50 oceanside, or whether it will reopen. A look inside the windows at the store shows not much has changed since September.
The same goes for Burger King near the Bealls plaza, and Pizza Hut nearby on the oceanside, which has been closed since the storm and isn’t even listed as a store anymore on the company’s website.
In late October the Keynoter reported 27 businesses in Marathon had closed, according to Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Daniel Samess.
He could not give an update this week on the number of closed businesses or the number of jobs lost in the wake of Irma. In October, the number of jobs lost stood at 452. Seventy percent of the jobs were hospitality related, Samess said.
Of the 452, more than half were from Hawks Cay Resort, which laid off 260 employees Oct. 13.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219