Even the (Kitchen?) Sink Was For Sale at Warm Mineral Springs

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Dozens of people were taking one last soak before Warm Mineral Springs in North Port, Fla., closes indefinitely. June 30, 2103.

Dozens of people were taking one last soak before Warm Mineral Springs in North Port, Fla., closes indefinitely. June 30, 2103.

I thought in some sort of a Hail Mary play orchestrated by Sarasota County Government, City of North Port and Cypress Lending Group, Warm Mineral Springs would be saved in the eleventh hour. It didn’t happen. Yesterday at 5 p.m., Warm Mineral Springs closed indefinitely after a weekend sale selling everything from the lavender-colored lounge chairs to filing cabinets and desktop computers to a (kitchen?) sink.

A woman carries one of the last chairs available for sale at Warm Mineral Springs, North Port, Fla., June 30, 2013.

A woman carries one of the last chairs available for sale at Warm Mineral Springs, North Port, Fla., June 30, 2013.

Warm Mineral Springs Is Closed, Now What?

As I previously shared about the crazy situation centered around this Southwest Florida internationally recognized attraction, the two governmental bodies couldn’t decide what to do with it in a timely manner. By the time they decided for a company to come in and temporary manage the property, Cypress Lending Group, the management company through June 30, made up its mind to leave in this letter dated June 13, 2013.

It will take at least three to four months before a new company will manage the springs. It could take longer. It is a governmental process after all.

What’s next? Well, dozens of people are out of work meaning less cash flow into North Port’s and Sarasota County’s economy. It also means the people who travel to this Southwest Florida attraction won’t be spending their money in the local economy.

One last walk down the hall to Warm Mineral Springs, North Port, Fla., Sunday, June 30, 2013.

One last walk down the hall to Warm Mineral Springs, North Port, Fla., Sunday, June 30, 2013.

Is there a silver lining? Maybe a thin, small one. From a geological and ecological perspective, the springs will not have human activity in it for several months. Perhaps this down time will permit a rejuvenation. [Remember, my degree’s in Earth Science so I know a little bit about these things.]

Dozens of people took one last soak before Warm Mineral Springs in North Port, Fla., closes indefinitely. June 30, 2103

Dozens of people took one last soak before Warm Mineral Springs in North Port, Fla., closes indefinitely. June 30, 2103

A Smart Marketer – An Alternative to Warm Mineral Springs

There’s a smart marketer out there and they represent Days Inn Fort Myers Springs Resort. On Sunday, they responded via Twitter to users who mentioned Warm Mineral Springs touting their springs as an alternative. I’ve never heard of them but looks like they offer two mineral soaking pools which look a little bit more civilized than the ones in North Port. Meaning, it’s an actual pool vs. natural setting. But, maybe it’s a viable alternative for those looking for a soak. (18051 South Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers, Fla.)

Not sure if this was from the kitchen but this sink was for sale at Warm Mineral Springs, North Port, Fla., June 30, 2013.

Not sure if this was from the kitchen but this sink was for sale at Warm Mineral Springs, North Port, Fla., June 30, 2013.

Time for Rejuvenation

When Warm Mineral Springs reopens, it deserves a celebration unlike any it has seen.  Maybe the Sarasota County powers can arranged for the area’s celebrity spokesman Nik Wallenda to walk across this fountain of youth. Or, maybe famed basketball announcer and “Voice of Sarasota” recipient Dick Vitale can shout out, “Warm Mineral Springs is awesome, baby!” during a broadcast.

A sign indicating Warm Mineral Springs is closed effective July 1, 2013, stands at the entrance. North Port, Fla., June 30, 2013

A sign indicating Warm Mineral Springs is closed effective July 1, 2013, stands at the entrance. North Port, Fla., June 30, 2013

Or, how about some local business partnering? Maybe there’s a connection between North Port’s Lolablue – nationally recognized and makers of rockin’ paraben-free, paraffin-free, sulfate-free and phthalate-free beauty products. How about a Fountain of Youth body scrub or soap using some of those 51 minerals found in the springs? The minerals were already being extracted for food and spa products. (Some historians believe this is the fabled Fountain of Youth Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon was searching for.)

Handmade sign reads, "Keep Nature's Gift to Mankind Open," on the Warm Mineral Springs sign, North Port, Fla., June 30, 2013.

Handmade sign reads, “Keep Nature’s Gift to Mankind Open,” on the Warm Mineral Springs sign, North Port, Fla., June 30, 2013.

It’s beyond disappointing Warm Minerals Springs is closed but it’s time to move forward, think ahead and act smart. Let’s hope the elected powers get their act together. It’s not time to rush and get the springs open, that would be irresponsible. It’s time to put together a realistic and smart plan for the future of the springs. A plan that balances its delicate ecology and economic potential.

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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