Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Business

Auction of Brooksville's storied Christmas House draws no takers

BROOKSVILLE — Though withered from age and neglect, Brooksville's storied Rogers' Christmas House Village almost seemed ready to welcome jubilant visitors once again. The sun shining down Friday cast a brilliant light on dozens of azaleas blooming out front, as a handful of local residents gathered near the entrance.

But they were there for only one reason: to see who, if anyone, was willing to sink at least $200,000 into purchasing the place that was being sold "as is."

The auction that was supposed to take place at noon drew no takers. And that left owner Weiland Rogers disappointed.

"With as much interest as has been shown for this business through the years, you'd figure someone would want it," Rogers said. "You can't tell me it's not worth $200,000."

Vacant since 2010, the once-bustling edifice on Saxon Avenue seems far removed from its glorious past, when Christmas House founder Margaret "Weenie" Rogers Ghiotto once beckoned thousands of visitors each year with her ornate holiday displays and home-baked cookies and punch.

Former employee Faye Petersen, who worked several years for former business owner George Rodriguez, said she remembers the good times well.

Standing on the porch, she peered wistfully inside the main house on the property, where she once greeted visitors, and sighed.

"I loved this place as if it were my own," Petersen said. "If it were open again, I wouldn't hesitate to come back. I know a lot of people who would do the same."

Tom Farner of Bay Area Auction Services said he couldn't recall a time when one of his auctions failed to draw a single interested party. He too thought someone would see the Christmas House's potential for either commercial or residential purposes.

"It's got a great location, but sometimes it takes more than that," Farner said.

Rogers said he will wait and see if someone is willing to come up with an alternative offer that he would be willing to accept.

"I believe there's someone out there who really wants it," he said.

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

Comments
Career Q&A: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Career Q&A: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Q: My manager has recently started eating nuts at her desk, which is located right next to mine. Unfortunately, I have a serious nut allergy, so any contact with them could produce a life-threatening reaction. Even foods which contain tiny pieces of ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

TAMPA — More than two decades after the last bunch arrived on shore, bananas are back at Tampa’s port. More than 3,900 pallets of Chiquita bananas from Ecuador arrived last week at the new Port Logistics Refrigerated Services warehouse.It was the fir...
Published: 02/20/18
Guess co-founder steps aside after allegations from Kate Upton

Guess co-founder steps aside after allegations from Kate Upton

Associated PressNEW YORK — Guess Inc. says that co-founder Paul Marciano will give up his day-to-day responsibilities at the clothing company until a sexual misconduct investigation is completed. Model and actress Kate Upton told Time magazine earlie...
Published: 02/20/18
Grocery retailer Albertsons to buy drugstore chain Rite Aid

Grocery retailer Albertsons to buy drugstore chain Rite Aid

Associated PressThe privately held owner of Safeway, Vons and other grocery brands is plunging deeper into the pharmacy business with a deal to buy Rite Aid, the nation’s third-largest drugstore chain. Albertsons Companies is offering either a share ...
Published: 02/20/18
Following deaths from Irma, Florida looks to new rules for keeping nursing homes cool after outages

Following deaths from Irma, Florida looks to new rules for keeping nursing homes cool after outages

After national headlines and a public outcry over the deaths of 14 people at a Broward County nursing home after Hurricane Irma, nursing homes across the state are working to comply with new rules requiring them to have back-up power.But the process ...
Published: 02/20/18
Yoshi — car maintenance that comes to you — launches in Tampa Bay

Yoshi — car maintenance that comes to you — launches in Tampa Bay

A California-based company that promises to bring limited on-site car maintenance directly to you — from an oil change to a fill-up — has picked Tampa Bay as its next pit stop."Anything that your car needs, we’re going to bring to you," said Nick Ale...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Business Digest for Feb. 23

Business digestEventsCHAMBER RIBBON-CUTTINGS: The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce will have two ribbon-cuttings in the coming week:• Access Health Care Physicians/Dr. Janice Rodriguez, 5290 Applegate Drive, Spring Hill, 10 a.m. Feb. 23. C...
Published: 02/20/18

Pasco Business Digest for Feb. 23

Business digestBrieflyLOCAL COMMUNITY RECOGNIZED: CHUY’S RESTAURANT TO OPEN: Chuy’s, the Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant, will open its first Tampa Bay area location this spring near Cypress Creek Town Center in Wesley Chapel. The restaurant at 25750...
Published: 02/20/18
Steve Wozniak charms USF crowd: ‘The human or the technology — what’s more important?’

Steve Wozniak charms USF crowd: ‘The human or the technology — what’s more important?’

TAMPA — Steve Wozniak, the inventor of the Apple personal computer, is the tech genius who sounds less like an engineer, more like a philosopher.Startups? They can be a lot of fun — if started up for the right reason."The purpose should never be, thi...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

When Cedar Hames spoke, you listened.He was a natural storyteller, always dressed sharp to match his wit and natural elegance. He grew a two-person business in St. Petersburg into a leading tourism, advertising and marketing agency over an esteemed 3...
Published: 02/19/18
Updated: 02/20/18