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Lido Beach pavilion
Sarasota Thursday, Mar. 31, 2016 5 years ago

Lido survey shows opposition to pool and pavilion plans

The city is seeking a private vendor to enhance and operate the Lido pool and pavilion, but a survey indicates significant resident opposition to major changes.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

The city is still conducting negotiations with a private vendor proposing a series of upgrades for the Lido Beach pool and pavilion area, but a survey of Lido Key residents shows significant neighborhood opposition to the plans.

A group led by Daiquiri Deck co-owner Troy Syprett submitted plans for a revamped pool and pavilion, seeking to assume operational control of the city-owned property. The proposal included plans to improve the bathrooms, replace the concession stand with a 305-seat restaurant and add a mini-golf course.

Before searching for a private operator, the city had considered closing the pool and pavilion for half the year, citing a $100,000 loss for running the facilities. Lido residents united against that idea, submitting recommendations for a viable year-round operation.

Both city staff and Syprett say the residents’ suggestions, which included “enhanced food service,” guided the selected proposal. The city’s survey of Lido residents, however, echoes opposition shown at an earlier workshop. More than half of the respondents say they disagree with the city’s decision to partner with a private vendor to develop and manage the pool and pavilion.

Not all of the results paint the proposal in a negative light. Although 22% of respondents endorsed the proposal as-is, 54% said they would plan to visit more often with the proposed enhancements.

Residents said they’d be least likely to use the mini-golf course — which Syprett said is a concept his group isn’t married to. Syprett has said only one part of the plan is a potential deal breaker: the restaurant.

As the city continues to vet the proposed plans, the survey suggests that restaurant will remain a point of contention.

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