It’s official. A symbol of “Olde Florida” is closing its doors. After 70-plus years of fun in the sun for so many people on Sanibel and Captiva’s Blind Pass, Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages is closing.
People who frequently visited Castaways are thankful for the memories and heartbroken that the Sanibel staple won’t be back, at least not anytime soon.
Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages CEO Doug Babcock announced that they would be closing for a while. Hurricane Ian destroyed most of the cottages and ripped up the beach.
“I had a tear in my eye nearly,” said Mike King.
“We actually stayed right here. There’s should be a green one right there. And it’s gone. And me and my family, every Fourth of July, will come down here, and we stay here and then one right across the street. That’s obviously gone to,” said Michael Bell.
“So to come down and see only one or two left and the rest are totally destroyed. It’s heartbreaking. It really is heartbreaking,” said Doug Bartz.
Babcock offered this glimmer of hope for the future. “It’s not goodbye. It’s see you later.”
In his Facebook post, Babcock wrote, “planning a next generation of resort as our time and energy allow.”
“After the storm, I made my way to Castaways, and it was like getting hit in the stomach. It was devastating to see the destruction, and I knew it was going to take a lot of time and effort to put it back together,” said Babcock.
Babcock is not ready to offer a timeline for when he might start rebuilding the cottages.