Renovations coming to Siesta Beach - WFLA News Channel 8

Renovations coming to Siesta Beach

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One of the most beautiful beaches in the country will get a face lift One of the most beautiful beaches in the country will get a face lift
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Siesta Beach is about to receive a huge facelift.

On Wednesday, Sarasota County commissioners broke ground on a new $21.5 million improvement project.  The beach is well-known throughout the world, but this project is something that's long overdue.

The historic beach pavilion is going to be renovated; also there will be modern restrooms, a new concession stand, playground areas, and multi-purpose facilities. Also new beach walkover structures, new tennis courts, and even a new pavilion to hold weddings. 

Sarasota County Parks and Recreation Director Carolyn Brown said, "It's going to be the total transformation of this entire beach park area."

The project is scheduled to be completed in December 2015.

Travelers from throughout the world come to Siesta Beach year-round.  The beach was on Yahoo's "Beaches that should be on your bucket list". In 2011, Dr. Beach named Siesta Beach the number one beach in America.

However, it wasn't always that way. Walter Rothenbach is the former director of Sarasota County Parks and Recreation. He says back in 1963, Siesta Beach was a tiny speck of coastal property.

"It was small, the key wasn't very well populated at that time," Rothenbach said.  "Siesta Isles, across the street from here, they were non-existent."

Over the years, the property grew.  More and more families came to visit to find out for themselves what made this beach so different.

Many would argue the best part of Siesta Beach is actually the powdery-soft white sand.  Ironically enough, this isn't really sand.

"It's 99% pure quartz crystal, and that's what makes this beach unique," said Rothenbach.  "You could walk this beach barefoot on the hottest day of the year and your feet won't even feel it."

According to VisitFlorida.com, the quartz sand was produced by the weathering of continental land masses like the Appalachian Mountains. The quartz is washed down America's great rivers into the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, where water currents bring it to the beaches.

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