Monday, August 17, 2015

The Flawed Casino Complex: Picture of Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex by Skyline Aerials, LLC

I found the photo below this morning on a Facebook page of an aerial photography company. This is, of course, after the renovation (or 90%+ demolition) of the property. 
It helps to point out a few things. One is that the pool and pool building take up as much, or more, of the property than the Casino structure. Another is the lack of parking immediately surrounding the building. What the photo does not show is the difference in elevation between the parking at the bottom of the picture and the higher elevation of the Casino building. The closest parking to the building is the permit parking area for residents. On the extreme left of the photo is Kreusler Park and its parking area. 

Not to be missed is the Atlantic Ocean which can be seen in the top portion of the photo. It is the second largest ocean on the planet. This tiny complex is part of a 5 million person plus metropolitan area that is made up of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

From this birds-eye view, the pool represents a large amount of land occupied by something that does not create nearly enough revenue proportionate to the prime space it occupies. Some would say that since this is a "park" revenue should not be the overwhelming concern here. And you can think that way if you want to, but realize that someone (the Lake Worth taxpayer and other users of the beach) have to spend money directly or indirectly to make up for that lost portion of revenue. In other words, the pool can be thought of as an opportunity cost. 

What is the city giving up for the pool to be in this location and take up this much space? And then the question that should be asked is: Is it worth it?

Remember, I enjoy the pool immensely and use it on a regular basis. However, we need to look at this 'amenity' with a critical eye.

If you zoom in on the aerial, you see one of the many design or operation flaws and the impact that it has on the aesthetics and the impression people get when they visit the Casino building:
Along the north side of the road is where most pedestrians travel from the parking area to the Casino building which is on top of the dune. See the dark stain that starts around the loading/trash collection area to the building? This is the standard condition here. It's worse when we haven't had rains, but you can see how the garbage residue is washed down the hill, alongside of where people first experience our beach complex. I bet this is especially true for tourists, as many would seek out this area to park as it is the first one you see upon entering the property. Biking through this area is not pleasant and can sometimes be slippery. The smell is not the best either.

Remember, the location of the building was determined by the policy decision to "save the building", which actually was never really saved. So, in the end, it really could have been placed anywhere on this 19 acre property. It's refuse area could have been designed and covered to have minimal contact with the public. Lastly, do you notice the dock where large trucks park to off-load their deliveries? That's right, there isn't one.