Nearly six months after Category 4 Hurricane Irma crushed much of the Keys, there are still hundreds of jobs lost and several businesses in Marathon remain closed.
It was reported in October 452 jobs had been lost in Marathon with 70 percent being hospitality related, according to Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Daniel Samess.
As of Friday, the number had not changed by much. About 200 of the reported jobs were from Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key, which laid off 260 employees in October.
“If you take out Hawk’s Cay, it’s about 200 jobs lost, give or take,” he said.
The restaurant and bar Havana Jack’s in Key Colony Beach remains closed. It took on extensive damage in the hurricane and employed close to 30 people before the storm, Samess said. According to its Facebook page, the bar is currently being rebuilt.
“That’s one we know will come back,” he said.
Also in Key Colony Beach is DK’s Beach Boutique. It reopened in the in the Key Colony Beach Shopping Center plaza a few months ago. The store, along with several in the plaza, was damaged.
“We decided to stay here and keep our pop-up store in Sea Level Spa” in the Gulfside Village plaza, said Donna Kirchner. She co-owns it with Mia Molck.
A third shop, DK’s Style Hut, was at mile marker 52 oceanside and was also destroyed in the storm and is now closed.
Leigh Ann's Coffee House, which was also in Key Colony Beach, has closed permanently. It is in the same category as Pizza Hut, mile marker 52.5 oceanside, and Overseas Outfitters, mile marker 47.5 bayside, which have shuttered for good.
“Nick’s Fitness Express, that’s one that might not reopen,” Samess said.
The storm pulled the roof off the gym at mile marker 53 bayside and exposed all the equipment inside to Irma’s rain and wind. The owner could not be reached by press time. Nearby is Advanced Auto Parts, which will reopen at some point, according to Samess.
There is no update for Burger King at mile marker 53 bayside, but it is closed for now and one thing is clear: A Sonic Drive-In will not be going there, contrary to rumors that have been swirling.
“I know the young man that has the franchise rights and he is not moving into the Burger King,” Samess said.
The Marathon McDonald’s is being redesigned and the Winn-Dixie grocery, closed since the hurricane, reportedly will reopen in the fall.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219