April 5, 2023
It's been two months since my last update and unfortunately I don't have much news. We continue to wait for permits to be processed and until then we are at a standstill. It has been a very frustrating time for all of us at Cornerstone, but we will continue to be patient and do what we can with things not needing permits. My original hope of being open by late May or June is not looking to promising at this point. I wish I had better news. If you were hoping for a summer stay, you may want to have a plan "B". I will continue to update with information as it becomes available.
February 4, 2023
February! Everyone in the midwest is wishing they were in Florida right now! The good news is we have had both power and water restored to the building after several delays! The general contractor is ready to go and things should start progressing much faster now! I can't wait to get some photos once the work has been done! We do not have a firm reopening date yet because many things still need to happen, but we are hoping to get the first three floors open roughly May/June and add the fourth floor at the end of June or July. We can not open the fourth floor until the elevator is installed and ready to go. The expected elevator installation is end of June or July. We are still working on getting our offices repaired and online. Once we have them ready to go we will be able to start taking new reservations and deposits. If you had a 2023 reservation which was cancelled, please let me know as soon as you can, if you intend to reschedule it for 2024. Only reservations cancelled and coming back the following year, for the same time frame are being put on the calendar as holds. Once we are up and running in the office, we will contact you for a deposit on the 2024 dates. Anyone who had a 2023 reservation between our reopening date and December will be allowed to rebook that time as well, before we open the calendar to new reservations. If you have any questions, please contact me.
January 12, 2023
I know it's been a while since the last update, but not much news to report. We are truly in a holding pattern at this point. W
Waiting for insurance funds, waiting for permits. Everything is lined up to be repaired and our General Contractor tells us
once work can begin, it should be done fairly quickly, which is encouraging. The wheels of insurance companies and
government run slow. My best guess at this point, and it's only a guess, would be a mid- 2023 reopening. Work on the island
is non-stop and everyone is trying to reopen and rebuild as fast as they can! Trucks and heavy equipment are running 24/7,
Either demolishing, rebuilding or collecting debris.
I have had guests ask about our staff. I am happy to report, they are all doing well and have found employment while we wait
for Cornerstone and Seaside to reopen.
I look forward to being able to post photos as they become available of all the repairs and improvements, Cornerstone is
going to be even more beautiful once we get her all fixed up!
December 8, 2022
I know the updates have slowed, simply because there has not been much to report. Cornerstone has a General Contractor who is working as fast as he can, but all things seem to run in slow motion for us who want it all done now! I know work on the pool has been done. The electric was pushed back several weeks due to the soil study needed, but they tell me now hopefully in two weeks. Water has been a little bit more of an issue because new leaks seem to show up frequently in the main pipes going to the various buildings and homes, so they need to shut down for repairs.
Thank you to all who have donated to the GoFund Me for the employees. We have collected around $2,800, and I have been able to disperse much of it to James and Monica. They were both very appreciative and touch by the generosity of our owners and guests!
November 20, 2022
Work continues, crews are in removing and replacing any drywall and flooring at risk of mold. We had hoped for power a week or so ago but a soil study is being done to assure the stability of a few stilts, once we get that, power to units should be on. The elevator carriage will need to be rebuilt, as of now we are looking at eight months for the elevator, but looking into different companies who may be able to do this sooner. A few restaurants have reopened, Yucatan, Fresh Catch Bistro and Wahoo Willies. Nervous Nellies along with several others are planning to repair and reopen, which is very exciting news! Tunaskin apparel has been able to reopen as well! Progress is slow, but always moving forward. I have had many guests ask how they can help financially, so I have set up a Go Fund Me for the employees at Seaside and Cornerstone. I have recently found out their work hours have been reduced significantly, so I am hoping we can help them financially during this very difficult time. We do not have a timeline for either resort to open. Cornerstone will be sooner than Seaside, but it could be a long time before everyone is back to full time hours.
Thank you for all of your support and kind words! At times it seems hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our owners and condo boards are working very hard to get the resorts back, better than before! There will be all new railings, paint, fences, flooring, some furniture too! We are all excited for the future!
November 2, 2022
One step forward, two steps back. Seems to be the theme of the week. While progress is always being made many things are still unknown. We are now a month post hurricane and still slowly moving from clean up to repair mode. I also wanted to clear up any confusion about 2023. All 2023 reservations are being cancelled, as we just do not know when we can reopen. I am putting names of people on a list who are hopeful they can come in 2023, but those reservations will be put back into the system as a new reservation after we have a reopening date. If you have a January, February or March reservation, and are on the fence, I would make sure you have back up plans. Reopening before April is not likely, based on my latest information. As for 2024, we are only holding condos for our existing guests at this time (no deposits). Once we are ready to take deposits we will let you know. We are not taking any NEW reservations at this time.
October 31, 2022
New photos and an email from our condo board president today! Things are taking shape! New transformers were delivered, the electrical room and much of the grounds has been clean out. The parking lot has been cleared of all the sand. Fencing around the property has been put in place.
October 31, 2022
I was just informed the property management company has decided to refund ALL 2022 and 2023 deposits. I have had many of you asking about refunds you did not expect. This is why. If you would like to reschedule your reservation for the following year with the same dates, please contact me. I will put you in the system, without a deposit and hold the condo. I will then contact you when we are ready to take deposits. I apologize for the confusion. When we are ready to take new reservations, you can be assured, I will let you know!!
October 29, 2022
I don't have much new to report. Crews continue to clean and are scheduled to come in for necessary repairs. Here are a few pictures from last week, and I should have a few more tomorrow. The island is showing progress of debris removal, several businesses are working to reopen, which is encouraging. The town is debating allowing food trucks to allow restaurants to generate some income while rebuilding.We are currently working on the December refunds. If you had a reservation in October or November and have not seen your refund come through, please contact us. Coming Soon! Cornerstone Beach Resort gear! I am working on Ornaments, T-shirts, Hats, Beach Bags, Wall Calendars and more. A few samples have come in and I am so excited to be offering them! If there is anything you would like to see offered contact me!
Here are some new photos of the progress being made. Crews came out this past week to begin the clean up. Most of the debris has been removed, pavers have been relocated to the pool area, lots of sand which seems to cover everything was cleaned up as well. Our next few appointments will be with the electrical trades to fully assess what needs repair. We do know one of the walls destroyed on the ground floor storage areas housed the main electrical box for the building. We will need to replace it and determine what other damage was done. We estimate it will be about 6 weeks before this will be complete. A mold remediation company has been out and determined the building did take on water in walls and ceilings. They will help us determine what walls and ceilings will need replacing. The structural engineer is scheduled to come later this week, to certify the building. We have put in to get the elevator repaired/replaced. Unfortunately, everyone needs their elevators repaired and replaced, so we are being told this could be about six months out. Little by little we will get her back.
October 10, 2022
The good, the bad and the ugly. Good news! One of our owners who lives local was able to get in to see all of our condos yesterday! As we thought, there seems to be minimal damage. A little water seeped in through the sliders, some water seeped in through the exterior dryer vents, lanai fans were damaged and some screens were blown out (not all, which is amazing!) This was wonderful to hear, since many of our owners had just finished up repainting, new floors and other updates just two weeks prior to the hurricane! The bad and the ugly happen to be where I thought it might be. The ground floor. Just like the rest of the island we have lots of debris, a pool full of sand, pavers/bricks displaced, storage closet repair and elevator repair just to start. The stilts look good from what I can tell, but a professional will come in to certify. The beach and ground in general has a lot of sand erosion 3 to 4 feet in some places. Luckily in Florida, we have lots of sand and can replace it. As bad as some of the photos look, I feel we were very blessed. We are working to get the condos up and running as soon as possible, but as you can see it will take some time.
October 9, 2022
I believe James and Monica are on the island right now as I type, taking a first look at both Seaside and Cornerstone. I have not heard back from them yet, but was able to grab a few new close up screenshots from a new video I found. It shows the Dakota beach access right next to Cornerstone, the beach and some of the closest photos I have seen to date.
October 8, 2022
It looks like we will be able to get on the island tomorrow! I hope to have more photos soon of progress. The streets have been cleared and the search for missing people is coming to an end. The residents and very anxious to get to their properties and see what work needs to be done.
Deposits for condos reserved October-November are being refunded first, by the dates they were reserved. You do not need to call, this will be done automatically by our billing office. Thank you for your patience as they are working to fully refund many, many guests. If you plan to reschedule or cancel a winter or spring 2023 reservation, please email, text or call me at firstname.lastname@example.org, 847-331-0504 or 847-420-1041. We are not taking new reservations at this time, only rescheduling until further notice.
October 1, 2022
Yesterday afternoon we were able to listen in on a conference call with city officials. They are first and foremost working to get people off the island who need to and providing food and water to those able to stay. They have been, and will continue to work around the clock to clean up. First removing debris from Estero Blvd. to make it passable, then working on side streets. You may have seen the "snow plows" plowing sand off the road. They are also working to remove cars and boats. The latest information on Cornerstone, so far is pretty good. We believe our windows and sliding glass doors all made it. We did get a short video showing a storage closet on the ground floor was breached and created a hole in the back side along with some stucco work, which I mentioned yesterday. Here are some screenshots from some of the video we have seen. I believe we are going to be able to try to get on the island today to assess damage. If we can get on I will of course update again later tonight. They are very strict about who is allowed to come on island with not only safety concerns but criminal intent.
Again, I want to thank everyone who has called, texted and emailed with such kind words and concern. I know Cornerstone has been a part of many of our guests and families for close to 20 years. In all the craziness and uncertainty your words are very comforting. I will be reaching out to our October and November reservations as soon as I hear back from the property managers and give you all an honest assessment of our situation and a timeline about reopening.
September 30, 2022
As of this morning, I do not have much news. We are not able to be on the island yet. I have had many phone calls and emails about upcoming reservations. Please give us time. As soon as we can get into the the billing office and process refunds or reschedule we will. The next week or so is going to be very telling as to what we are looking at for repairs and rebuild of the entire town. I have seen aditional video of Cornerstone and we do have some damage to our ground level. A storage closet for cleaning supplies and linens which runs east to west has left a hole on the east side along with some stucco damage. The fencing around the pool appears to be gone as well.
September 29, 2022
It is just after noon on the 29th. The good news is, I have confirmation Cornerstone is still standing tall. We had one guest chose to stay and took video of the surrounding area from the balcony. Many of the older homes around cornerstone are gone. Junkanoo is gone, Hooters is gone, Santini Plaza only had the roof showing early this morning, but much of the flooding has gone down to the point of streets are visible but covered in sand and debris. Times Square is in rough shape, with many businesses gone and the pier seems to have been washed away. Information is still coming. The goal now is to search and rescue any who did not evacuate, and make sure it is safe to be on the island regarding power lines, water management and determining if structures are safe to be in or around. If you have a reservation booked and and need to cancel or would like to reschedule for another time, you may contact me and we can push it out to a further date.
Looking for a few bright spots in all of this. The city of Fort Myers Beach has been through bad hurricanes before. They will be working around the clock to get businesses, condos, roads and recreational places back up and running in better shape than they were pre-hurricane! Business will rebuild and will thrive just as they always have. It is a wonderfully resilient community.
September 28, 2022
I sit here tonight with a heavy heart. Hurricane Ian has passed over Ft. Myers Beach leaving a trail of destruction we have not seen since hurricane Charlie. The island has been evacuated, so we do not know how things are at this time. We can only watch the news and social media and hope. I have heard from so many of our loyal guests and have appreciated all the thoughts, prayers and love shown for Cornerstone and the staff. I know many brave, hardworking linemen, construction crews, National Guard are on standby ready to get our island fixed up and ready to welcome back the people who love Ft. Myers Beach!
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