Historic Hacienda Hotel in downtown New Port Richey will be the focus of a community cleanup
Vacant landmark is owned by the city
8:32 PM, Jan 3, 2013
10:19 AM, Jan 4, 2013
NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - A historic piece of new Port Richey's downtown is slowly falling into disrepair.
But the 85-year old Hacienda Hotel is about to get some much needed help.
"It's a shame that its been neglected for so long," said 96-year old John Munty.
Munty has owned the small appliance repair shop across from the Hacienda for nearly forty years.
He thinks it's vital for the 85-year-old landmark to have a future.
"Very important. It's one of the main attractions the city has," said Munty.
Opened in February of 1927, the Hacienda was the centerpiece of the social scene for years.
The City of New Port Richey has owned the Hacienda for almost ten years and it's been vacant since 2006.
Despite efforts to make a deal work, the city recently severed ties with a potential developer.
Councilman Bob Langford explained, "It just has not come to fruition. So I think that we all thought it best that we turn it into a community project and get it off the ground and get it going."
So the city's idea of a community project is to gather as many volunteers as possible on Saturday morning January 12, and have a massive cleanup both in and outside of the property.
Of course, lunch will be provided.
Paul Perryman was spending the day at the park with his sons and says he doesn't care about the lunch, he just wants to be a part of the cleanup.
"I'd like to see a lot of the community actually participate. I mean, it's something that you can do to say, 'yes I care about our community that we live in'; and it doesn't cost anything but your time," Perryman said.
Many ideas, from a bed and breakfast to a community center to retail have been talked about. But the first step is to stop the declining condition of the Hacienda.
"This was the happening place in New Port Richey. And to be able to restore this building back to what it was, or even close to what it was would just be a great thing for our city," said Langford.
Munty summed it up when suggesting people take part. "It's your city. If you help it, you're helping yourself," he said.
The cleanup will take place Saturday, Jan. 12 at 8:00 a.m.
The Hacienda Hotel is located at 5621 Main Street in Port Richey, Fla 34652.