Letter to the Editor: Visitors not welcome

This is our first time to Marco Island for a three-week vacation. Usually it’s to the Keys.

I have a suggestion. Put up two gates on both sides of the bridges with a sign, “Visitors Not Welcome.” I’ve never felt so out of place as in Marco Island. I’m one who says hi to everyone with whom I come face-to-face. I encountered many people who just looked the other way. Reading the paper about parking and beaches, when did beaches become so private? I thought beaches were public domain for all to enjoy.

I’ve read the numbers in the paper how much tourists bring to the area, and you are chasing them away. We definitely will not be back to spend our dollars here. We’ve encountered several other first-timers who have said the same – too snooty, too anti-tourism.

We love to fish, but didn’t have a boat. Bridge fishing? What a joke. No bathrooms, hardly room for parking, garbage, no fishing walkways, like the Keys have. I’ve read, “fish from any of the island’s bridges. Right, where does one park to do this? We encountered the warden checking licenses, asked where the fish are? He pretty much grunted and walked away. Nice welcome.

I have to say, homes are kept nice, landscaping decent; but other than that, residents of Marco, it’s all yours. Seems to be the way you like it.

Let’s see how you do without tourism dollars. I can count on one hand the number of friendly residents that engaged us in a very short conversation.

Thanks for the kindly welcome. Keep up the “visitors not welcomed attitude” and you’ll have the island to yourselves.

Mary Robinson

Woodruff, WI

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Comments » 24

Seawaller writes:

Sorry Mary, while some would have you believe otherwise, Deltona never designed Marco as a tourist destination. It was never meant to have 15+ story condos. The parking problems for the beaches are due to one thing, density. Public fishing piers were never envisioned or built, except for under the Jolly bridge which Wilma took out. Caxambas has a dock to fish on. I don't know if anyone ever thought about putting bathrooms at the bridges. You could rent a boat though. Some are trying hard to remake this small island into what you want, but so far they have only succeeded in ruining it for everybody. As for the friendliness of the people, people are people and I can't speak to that complaint. The Keys are a great tourist destination and they work hard at it. Enjoy them.

Sparky100 writes:

Mary, sounds like you were looking for the Keys, we are completely different, all we have in common is the Gulf of Mexico. If someone told you we were, they were mistaken. Seawaller was correct; this island was never designed as a tourist destination, the keys became one.
All that you have read or heard about parking and beaches are just small town growth issues, not directed at you in any way. We are not trying to stop growth just manage it properly, fortunately with many different options and opinions. You may come down here for a 3 week vacation, that’s great. We live here 52 weeks and have to deal with the same issues you deal with at your home the other 49 weeks.
In regards to fishing, few piers were ever placed because almost 90% of the homes are on cannels, we just didn’t need them.
As to your noticing the people are not friendly, on some of these blogs I have to agree with you. Our population swells to about 3 times our normal during the high season, stressing us locals and our guests. Please come back over the summer or fall, I guaranty you will feel differently about our friendliness.

naples_rocket writes:

I wonder if this Mary Robinson from Woodruff, WI is even a real person. Well, she's in the white pages, but I cannot really imagine someone coming in to a new place for a 3 week vacation and managing to be so knowledgeable of local issues and economics. Then going home and bothering to write a letter to the editor. Hey, sounds like Mary Robinson from Woodruff, WI would make a picture perfect full-time Marco Islander she's describing in her letter.

livingonmarco writes:

Mary:
Please DO NOT come back. It is the tourists that are the rude people. Our island is wonderful in the summer when all of the tourist are gone. I agree with the above, Marco Island is not the keys. The tourists think that we should kiss the gound you walk on since you come here to spend your money. You are rude, mean and just unfriendly!!!

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Mary, did you look in advance what Marco provided for visitors. Where does it say that this beautiful island was some kind of boardwalk city? As far as the residents here, I have rarely met such pleasant, unassuming, people anywhere else in my life and I have traveled to many places both in the U.S. and Europe.

If you wished to fish, there are plenty of charter boats you could have taken. Where did you see that we had to provide you with a place to fish and a toilet? We do not have that provided for ourselves. Did you think that the cost of that was free because you mostly likely rented a condo or house?

The people you met were probably some of the other visitors to the island who come here with the attitude that they own the place when they drive, push their way into store lines etc.

Sorry for your unfortunate luck of not, really, coming into contact with the resident population.

WizeOlMarco writes:

Here is my observation as a long time Wisconin resident: people can't just pull up to Wisconsin lakes, say in the Woodruff area, and fish without a license. I understand Wisconsin's current state slogan is "We are open for business! (but not for Democracy)". Now if Woodruff could just get its homes and landscaping looking nice you'd be just like Marco Island. There is a reason you are known as a 'snow bird'. The prevailing winds are blowing north, bye.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

We should have a sign on the Bridge saying.

"Marco Island, Open to Nice People, All Others, Please Stay Out!

happy34145 writes:

Marco was never meant to be a resort destination(see the original Deltona plan for proof)But the island has been hijacked by the Chamber of Commerce and its friends,trying to turn this paradise into West Miami, all for what??...$$$$

captnjimbo writes:

There is a reason for Key West and there is a reason for Marco Island. Key West was developed as a tourist attraction by railroad Barron Henry Flagler. Marco Island was developed by the Mackle Brothers (Milwaukee) as a retirement resort...different cultures, both with a purpose. My wife and I have been around for 25 years and everyone is friendly. Go figure.

Gatorfan4life writes:

6 years ago, I moved my wife and 3 kids to Marco. That lasted 8 months and we moved back to Michigan. Worst mistake we ever made. I am presently looking for work around Marco/Naples so we can move back to Marco. Only problem is, nobody will give me the time of day and give me an opportunity, no matter how qualified I am. My parents do have a condo on Marco at the South Seas Towers. The people are not that friendly there on Marco. That is true. Most tend to think that they should be separated from the rest of the United States population and civilization itself. However, we didnt move there for the people. We love it there because its a beautiful place, year around. I hope to get back there soon because I really miss Porkys and Joeys. Now Im bummed.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I did Klaus, that is why I am here, but I guess there was no sign for you to use as an excuse or to blame someone else for.

I know, you snuck in on a boat as a hide-a-way in the name of Klabautermann.

And by the way what about your "posted promise to ignore me"? I guess promises by your species of liberal either can't remember or just ignore promises made in public.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Take a look and notice that Klaus has temporary friends, the rest of the time they just, despise or ignore him!

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to Gatorfan4life:

6 years ago, I moved my wife and 3 kids to Marco. That lasted 8 months and we moved back to Michigan. Worst mistake we ever made. I am presently looking for work around Marco/Naples so we can move back to Marco. Only problem is, nobody will give me the time of day and give me an opportunity, no matter how qualified I am. My parents do have a condo on Marco at the South Seas Towers. The people are not that friendly there on Marco. That is true. Most tend to think that they should be separated from the rest of the United States population and civilization itself. However, we didnt move there for the people. We love it there because its a beautiful place, year around. I hope to get back there soon because I really miss Porkys and Joeys. Now Im bummed.

If you met Klaus, you wouldn't want to come back, at all, not even for Porky's or Joey's. Thank your lucky stars for that.

That being said, good luck in your employment search. It is terribly difficult for someone to find a job here and be able to make ends meet, especially with a family to care for.

summerinparadise writes:

Okay, I can tell this is going to be long . . . Sorry!

Just so you know, most of us visitors do not expect you to cater to us, love your island, and think people like Mary are self-absorbed and high maintenance!! My family has spent the last 8 summers on the island (we are teachers and can stay for a couple of months in the summer) and can't wait to be back in 4 weeks!!! We love the people on the island and constantly talk about how pleasant everyone is. But, it sounds like we are VERY different from Mary and her family because we don't go around trying to get to know everyone we see and then feeling hurt because they don't necessarily share our same goal of making friends everywhere we go.

We believe the island is GORGEOUS and does not need any piers, extra parking spaces, or large condo complexes. Before we bought our boat, we went to the beach, under the bridge, or Caxambas if we felt like fishing (my husband is an avid fisherman and never felt inconvenienced). The fishing is part of the allure of Marco.

By the way, as far as the government employees and their attitude to tourists, I have a story that will sound very different from the unhappy Mary's. We had friends in town and took them to the Everglades one morning. The husband got very ill with a stomach virus on the way out of Marco and we had to turn around and quickly head back to our condo. We were stopped for speeding and explained the situation to the officer. While it was an early Sunday morning and he could have easily made assumptions of a hungover, obnoxious tourist group (we are all fairly young looking and the assumption of partiers would have been understandable, even though it couldn't be further from the truth), he was extremely understanding and graciously allowed us to hurry on our way with a kind warning. I can't say enough for the kindness shown us during our summers on the island. We have even made friends that we look forward to seeing each summer, even though we are fairly private and don't seek out people!

Thank you Marco for ALWAYS welcoming our family . . . We love you and will see you permanently when retirement comes!!!!

marco826 writes:

Funny, i've owned homes onMarco for over 20 years, moved to this area full time 7 years ago. The lifestyle and cordial people is was attracted me and my wife. Sure there are jerks everywhere but I think this letter was written out of anger for reasons the writer may have omitted.

Our_world_according_to_zookeeper (Inactive) writes:

I have lived on Marco Island for 12 years. Never have I considered it a place of unfriendly people.

Marco826, you are correct. Some people never have something nice to say about others because their own lives are in some sort of disaray. It makes them feel good when they put down others that are more than likely better off or happier than they are. That is what some call the darker side of human nature, I suppose.

ratsnake writes:

I lived in the Keys for years. Trust me, locals in places like Old Town are only nice to you because they want something from you - usually your money.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

20_Days writes:

Ocram,

Several people on these blogs have suggested that you stop responding to Klaus. They already know the mindset of this individual.

It is a wonder why he, also, has not been removed from these blogs by the newspaper as a result of blog postings. As you posted earlier let him be happy in his own world.

ajm3s writes:

Pay attention! There is council chairman who may represent a strong minority contingent that wants trolley services, accommodate the 951 corridor residents, provide parking facilities etc.

My question to Mr. Magel: Do you represent the residents of Marco Island or Naples? I can understand the monies that may flow into the city coffers, but then again there is always the costs associated.

So again, in the master plan of this city, where is it written that we need more parking, unless of course we encourage more hotels in Midtown through density transfer credits.

Oh I forgot there is a parking problem at the Esplanade and Old Marco. And the designers/planners of the Esplanade were to address Thursday overflow? How about we just simply acknowledge, that there is a parking problem but it is temporary and site specific. For example, in South Beach, it is the pursuit of "free" parking; at the Esplanade it may be a Thursdays only issue.

Who reviewed the parking plan for the Esplanade? Will the same standards be used in the layout of the grande MidTown Redevelopment to make it pedestrian centric.

Folks wake up! Its all about getting more stuff on Marco Island, the old 5# in a 1# bag for more revenue. And the residents watch the transformation of a small tropical town under the guidance of misguided leaders on this island that do not understand that quantity does not lead to quality.

captnjimbo writes:

I have reread the letter and all of the comments and while I don't agree or disagree with ajm3's hinting that there may be a sinister plot, I do think he hit a hot button that swale parking, trollies and bathrooms on bridges could permanently degrade the quality of life that we have purchased. We should think twice and maybe three times before becoming overly accomodating to day trippers.

An occasional trip to the keys, Miami Beach or Fort Lauderdale beach should be recommended to anyone planning the future of Marco Island...too much density can make a few a lot of money but does anybody here really want to live like that?

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

One has to have character before it can be assassinated? Doesn't one think?

2themoon writes:

in response to Ocram:

One has to have character before it can be assassinated? Doesn't one think?

Klaubermann gets Klaubered again

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