Willy's is a good thing like it is
I live on Pine Island near the Pine Island Park. Located in the park is a snack bar known as Willy's Tropical Breeze Cafe. I was recently made aware of a decision to put the snack bar up for bids. I think it may be beneficial for the commission to be aware of some facts before perusing another unnecessary and costly venue.
Willy built the snack bar up from a little dive to its present attractive state at his own expense and without county funding.
The snack bar is a revenue producing establishment, in that Willy pays the county a fee.
Willy unlocks the gates early each day and closes and locks the gates at night, even during the winter, when there are no attendants. I imagine it will be costly to have personnel cover the park for the additional hours.
Willy lives on the island and as such has a vested interest in keeping the snack bar a quality establishment. His closeness allows him to respond quickly to the park to allow law enforcement/emergency personnel in when there is an emergency or visitors come at night to party or vandalize.
Willy has run the snack bar for more than 15 years and it has been well maintained and operated professionally (many island residents go there for lunch).
Should the county decide to put the activity up for bid, I can see an unnecessary nightmare and expense. How often would a re-bid take place? What kind of quality can we expect? Is the county going to build and furnish a snack bar or pay Willy for his buildings and equipment (if he is willing to sell)?
To my knowledge there have been no complaints about Willy, the snack bar or the service. So I cannot understand why the county is perusing this venue. It most certainly will not serve the best interests of the county and will be a costly unnecessary endeavor.
Thomas Allyn, Weeki Wachee
Let Willy alone, he's doing fine
Leave it alone. Why would this county want to take a chance on getting someone running the stand at Pine Island concession other than Willy Kochounian?
He runs it with such pride for our beautiful Pine Island. Willy truly cares about the people of this county and proves it by how well and how long he has run it. I have previously lived as a homeowner on Pine Island. I have seen and can testify how spotless he keeps his equipment, he is truly meticulous. I have seen that kitchen.
He also is concerned about the people and after hours makes sure the beach is locked up at night. Replacing Willy would be a huge mistake. Willy can also be seen early in the morning buying fresh daily supplies. Please do not take a chance of letting someone else run this stand.
Willy Kochounian is the only person to stay in this position. He truly loves the people and the concession stand. Let it be as it has been for 18 years.
Sharon Powers, Brooksville