Heavy rains left a small part of the Linger Lodge RV park under water late last month.
The floodwaters have since retreated, but Linger Lodge, home to a venerable restaurant unlike any other in Southwest Florida, is still underwater financially, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.
Even so, its owners — Mike Bennett, a former state senator and Manatee County supervisor of elections, and former Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee and property investor Marvin Kaplan — sense that the economic tide has turned.
They have put the campground on the market at just under $2 million — even though its debt is still roughly $1.3 million more than the asking price, according to records.
“We are not in a big hurry one way or the other,” Bennett says. “It is like anything else. Everything has a time and a place. We certainly have had a lot of good times there.
“We have enjoyed the restaurant; the restaurant makes money. It is just the time involved for the RV park.”
Bennett and Kaplan bought Linger Lodge, considered by NBC’s Al Roker to be among the “weirdest” restaurants in the country, for $2.7 million in August 2005 with a $2.39 million mortgage.
When the frenzied mid-2000s real estate market imploded, the investors tried in 2008 to auction the property on the banks of the Braden River at 7205 85th St. Court E. in Bradenton. No one bid enough.
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