INDIAN ROCKS BEACH, Fla. - For nearly twenty years, city officials and community leaders talked of having boat docks on the intracoastal waterway side of Indian Rocks Beach. Ten days ago, that long-ago vision became reality.
"It's very vital; it kind of closes the circle as far as the ability to get downtown by car or certainly by water," said city commissioner Phil Hanna.
The 18 floating docks are open to the public free of charge. Matthew and Vicki Bissell of Marco Island were cruising by, looking for a place to stop and eat when they discovered the new docks.
"Boating obviously in Florida's a huge community of people. So they're always looking for something like this to be welcoming and to see the cities, the different cities, so it's an excellent thing to have," explained Vicki.
"These docks, of course, are just adjacent to our downtown area, which we call our business triangle. So it makes a perfect gateway from the water to go into the community to enjoy restaurants and shops and things like that," Hanna said.
Business owners are thrilled with the new docks and the potential new customers.
"It's fantastic," smiled Bev Malley.
Malley owns Impressive Florida Wines, just a block away from the docks.
"It's really great that the city's opening up the docks for free to bring traffic to the area so it helps build the businesses that are already here. For me, it's been a great plus because it's right across the street," Malley remarked.
Matt Loder of Crabby Bill's on Gulf Blvd. is pleased that the city looks at the big picture.
"We think it's real broad-minded. They're always looking out for the whole interest of the community."
As pleased as businesses may be, it's the boaters who really love it.
"Whoever was the one who had this vision was brilliant. Because it brings people into the community and it brings the community to people," said Brenda Schlechter as she and her husband Paul stepped off of their boat, Tortuga.