A hotel in Florida has decided to become a nudist resort in an effort to prevent the struggling hotel from going out of business. However, the decision has upset local residents in the neighborhood who are fighting to ensure people keep their clothes on.
Paul Hodge, who owns the Fawlty Towers Motel in Cocoa Beach, said that he is almost to the point of closing down and that this was his last option. He explained that he has been squeezed as hotel chains continue to develop in the beachside community.
"It's sort of a make-or-break situation. We can't pay ourselves in winter. We had to scrap health insurance. Every year it gets a little bit worse," Hodge to WTSP.
The hotel has 32 rooms, a tiki bar, pool and hopes that this new change can stir up enough interest to keep the doors open.
"It's just a niche in the market. There's no competition in 100 miles," Hodges said.
The new change took effect this week and already Hodge has seen an increase not only in bookings, but also in local resident's interest in the resort.
"I didn't think there would be so many nudists right here…It looks like we'll do well," Hodge said.
While Hodge tries everything to save his business not everyone in the community is excited about having a nudist resort so close.
Tony Perrera, who works in Cocoa Beach, explained that people he has talked to do not think that it is the right place for such a business. The main concern is the fact that there is a park close by which is filled with children during the summer, according to WFTV.
"Is this the right thing to do? No. Not there," Perrera said.
But Hodge stated that he has taken measures to address the concerns held by residents. He has added new screening and taller balcony fences to block any wondering eyes.
He has also installed doors that have coded locks and signs that warn guests where clothing is required.
"We don't want to get the other side of it…We want to stay as we always have been - family oriented," Hodge said.