Fort Lauderdale's Bahia Cabana struggles to reopen after Hurricane Irma

Waterfront hotel sustains roof damage, water infiltration, mold from storm

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Businesses on Fort Lauderdale Beach are slowly starting to show signs of recovery after Hurricane Irma swept through South Florida, hitting coastal areas the hardest.

"We've got problems everywhere," Bryan Cohen, of Bahia Cabana, said. 

Cohen has been with the Bahia Cabana for decades.

The waterfront hotel is normally a world-famous attraction that boasts breathtaking views, but since Irma rolled through, the scene has been not so sightly.

"This place sustained roof damage, water infiltration because of the power outage, we have mold and mildew now," Cohen said. 

Bahia Cabana has been closed since the storm and it’s unclear when it will reopen.

"We're out of business. We had to layoff about 115 people," Cohen said. "People working here 32 years -- gone -- they don't have a salary."

Cohen said locals who have been going to the venue for years are heartbroken that they haven't been able to reopen.

B Ocean across the way also took a hit from the storm. The hotel is operating again, just not at full capacity.

Meanwhile, progress along A1A is being made as crews work to re-lay the sand that once swamped the street during the storm.

The major establishments on the beach will eventually bounce back, but for the smaller businesses, it's a different story.

"For the resort, it consists of seven insurance companies, seven adjusters, and we're trying to go ahead and deal with it and get everything back on schedule. When it will be, I can't tell you," Cohen said.