Thursday, August 6, 2020

County Forces Popular Concessionaire Out



July 14th will certainly be a sad day for islanders, whether they be parttime or fulltime, as well as visitors to our piece of paradise here on the Southwest coast of Florida. Tony “Smudge Smith will be stopping his operations on that day. A 32-year run as the concessionaire at Tigertail Beach, he will be ceasing his operation.  

That is the politically correct way of putting it. I will just simply say he is being forced out! 

Since his youth as a Grenadier Guardsman in his native England, Tony Smith understood what it was to stand in battle, and when his lovely wife fell ill, he was once again called upon to take on another challenge in his life, and together they walked through that battle and came out the other side stronger than ever. 

“Smudge” has known that cards have been stacked against him for over a year now. He has fought a valiant battle against a bureaucracy that has been bound and determined to see his livelihood stripped from him. First, through a questionable bidding process, next through county staff member that has been less than cooperative and somewhat combative in their dealings with him. 

The last straw came when the County over the last 60 days chose to create a financially punishing concessionaire agreement which could have put Smith into bankruptcy and ruin his family business. 

Collier County’s lack of care and maintenance on Tigertail Beach may not be coincidental and the fate of the oncepopular destination is now in question. 

Coastal Breeze News will have a more indepth story in next weekedition.  

4 responses to “County Forces Popular Concessionaire Out”

  1. Mary Ann Lauber says:

    Is it too late to do something to help this business survive?

  2. Lori Havemeier says:

    I am so sad this has happened. It’s wrong and could not have happened to a nicer family. Good things always come from bad happenings, hopefully The Smith family will be even more profitable in a new location or venture.

  3. Dick Trehub says:

    As a volunteer for Freedom Waters ,Tony showed me tremendous heart in donating the use of his facilities and providing lunches free of charge to the groups of military veterans and physically and mentally challenged clients that we serve, several times a year. His personal interaction with our clients showed true concern and insured we all had a memorable day at Tigertail Beach.

    His loss is a greater loss for Marco Island and Colliers county.

  4. Kathy Farrell says:

    This behavior by the so called “leaders” of Collier county, Who voted to “oust” Smudge are wrong on so many levels.
    Where has the humanity for your fellow man, comrade, friend, entrepreneur, fellow business owner gone? I am utterly ashamed to read such an article. At a time when everyone needs to pull together and support our communities and business owners, the people and offices that stripped “Smudge” of his life and livelihood will, at some point in their own lives, feel the bad karma they are throwing out, come back ten-fold on themselves. Shame on you.

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