Melbourne Beach Resort plans to repair, reopen after Hurricane Nicole

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When then-Tropical Storm Nicole was still churning far offshore, Melbourne Beach Resort property manager Stephanie Goldstein was shocked to see how violent, pounding waves were consuming the coastline.

“About 15 hours before the storm even was about to hit, we pretty much had no dune then,” Goldstein recalled of beach erosion at the State Road A1A oceanfront hotel.

After Nicole’s gusts subsided, a chunk of the 16-room Melbourne Beach Resort’s concrete pool deck hung suspended in air — the supporting sand beneath had washed away.

Broken lumber and concrete littered the beach below, and Goldstein said a loosened air-conditioning unit was left “hanging on by a wire.”

More:Andretti Thrill Park reopens after Hurricane Nicole rips large hole in exterior wall

More:Official: Satellite Beach condo tower not in immediate danger, despite Nicole beach erosion

Melbourne Beach Resort became unincorporated Brevard County’s largest oceanfront commercial property deemed unsafe by the Planning and Development Department because of undermining erosion.

Properties on the list, from north to south:

  • Melbourne Beach Resort, just north of Coconut Point Park.
  • Sea View Inn, an eight-suite hotel just south of Juan Ponce de León Landing.
  • Tuscany Sun, a five-unit hotel north of Melbourne shores.
  • A single-family home south of Atlantic Drive.
  • Four homes in Floridana Beach.

“I think we all kind of expected that we were going to have severe damage,” Goldstein said.

“I just didn’t know we would be shut down,” she said.

The owners of Sea View Inn declined an interview request. Efforts to contact the Hialeah company that bought Tuscany Sun in August were unsuccessful. The property previously operated as Sandgate Ocean Front Motel.

In Satellite Beach, City Manager Courtney Barker said three homes were condemned as too dangerous for habitation. One home is on Shell Street, while the other two are in an oceanfront complex across S.R. A1A from ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.

Melbourne Beach Resort predates modern oceanfront construction regulations. The twin-building hotel was built in 1958, the year NASA was established. That October, the fledgling agency launched its first spacecraft, Pioneer 1, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

“There is water damage inside some of the rooms. But most of our damage is exterior — and the dunes are completely gone,” Goldstein said.

“The deck is collapsed. The erosion is literally up to the buildings. There is an A/C that’s hanging on by a wire,” she said.

A Brevard County Fire Rescue inspector checked the structurally unsafe Melbourne Beach Resort on Tuesday morning.

“We are waiting on the insurance adjuster and all of that stuff, but the goal is to fully renovate and fix everything. And hopefully, be back up and running by the first of the year,” she said.

After operating for years as Sandy Shoes Resort, the 1-acre hotel was purchased in May 2021 for $2.425 million by a trio of affiliated corporations based in Atlanta, property records show.

The hotel employs Goldstein, who has worked there for 12 years, and six other employees. 

“We are lucky enough to work for a company who does care about their employees. And everyone is still being paid, even though they are not working because it’s out of their hands,” Goldstein said.

Melbourne Beach Resort on State Road A1A is closed until further notice because of damages from Hurricane Nicole.

Rick Neale is the South Brevard Watchdog Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY (for more of his stories, click here.) Contact Neale at 321-242-3638 or rneale@floridatoday.com. Twitter: @RickNeale1

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