TREASURE ISLAND, FLORIDA — Gators Café & Saloon, a subsidiary of HCI Group, Inc., donated $21,175 to the City of Treasure Island for the purchase of a MobiMat® Recpath™ to be installed at Treasure Island Gulf Front Park, 10400 Gulf Blvd.
Paresh Patel, Chairman and CEO of HCI Group, Inc., presented the check on behalf of Gators during the October 17 City Commission meeting.
After reading an article in the newspaper about the City’s interest in improving beach accessibility, Gators managers and staff were committed to help. “While the restaurant offers some of the best views of Treasure Island beaches and John’s Pass, we know there is nothing like ‘being on the beach!’ said Tom White, Gators general manager. “We wanted that for Aiden and Jimmy’s families and others who haven’t been able to experience it. We determined that monies set aside for new tables and chairs in the Café should instead be donated to help with this accessibility project, and our owners agreed it was a great idea.”
The MobiMat® Recpath™ is a semi-rigid roll-out mat providing stable support for wheelchairs, pedestrians, and strollers. Made entirely of recycled and recyclable polyester, the MobiMat® Recpath™ is 6.5’ wide and 433 feet long. “Wings” on either side will allow wheelchairs and strollers to move out of the main pathway to allow more people to approach the beach.
Installation is expected to be complete before the May 2018 sea turtle nesting season. The MobiMat® Recpath™will be the first such accessible pathway along the Pinellas Suncoast.
“(The MobiMat) is a wonderful addition to the services Treasure Island offers to our special needs visitors and residents,” said Treasure Island Mayor Bob Minning about the portable walkway. “It is a win-win for everyone. We are grateful to Gators Café & Saloon for their heartfelt donation.”
With the installation of the MobiMat® Recpath™, the City of Treasure Island is also considering the purchase of additional beac-access wheelchairs to complement the one currently placed at the Bilmar Beach Resort. City funds and donations will aid in the purchase.
When the Chamber learned about the City’s intent to increase wheelchair accessibility to the beach, the Board officially endorsed the proposal at its August Board meeting. “Our Chamber is proud to support this innovative solution,” said Chamber Chairman Gregory Tong. “We invite our members and neighbors to help by making donations to the City to support the purchase of more beach accessible wheelchairs. We’re grateful and proud that our member, Gators Café & Saloon, has made the purchase of the MobiMat Recpath possible for our community.”
For further information about how to donate, please contact the City Recreation Department at 727-547-4575, ext. 237.