• Cocoa Beach resort going clothing optional; some locals can't bear the thought

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    COCOA BEACH, Fla. - Some Cocoa Beach residents are upset because of a hotel that's about to become a nudist resort.

    The Fawlty Towers Resort will make the change by the end of April.

    The resort is located on the Cocoa Beach Causeway on Atlantic Avenue.

    The resort's owner, Paul Hodge, told WFTV if he doesn't go nude his business could go under.

    "We just scrape by every year. I lend the company money out of my personal savings to get by," said Hodge.

    Hodge said his hotel was in such financial straits that he was close to being left with only the clothes on his back. But now he expects people to take theirs off to help save the 32-room hotel.

    "Since I have been advertising they have been coming in every day," said Hodge.

    He already has 10 reservations for the May 1 grand opening.

    Clothing will be optional, but required outside the resort's doors.

    The Fawlty Towers Resort is only 200 yards from the ocean and some beachgoers are livid.

    "Young people surf on that beach.  What kind of a message is that sending them?  It's inappropriate," said Merritt Island resident Jeannette Smith.

    "It's got nothing to do with sex, they just want the freedom of having no clothes on," said Hodge.

    Because the resort is next to the Cocoa Beach Causeway Hodges built a fence to block the view from the causeway.

    Police say  if someone disregards the resort's signs and steps outside naked the violator could be arrested and given a citation.

    "We just bought a place here two weeks ago, so if you want to add instant depreciation to your property I guess that would be one factor," said Cocoa Beach resident Art Pisani.

    Hodge denies it will affect anyone's pocket book but his.

    "I think it is going to do well," said Hodge.

    WFTV was told that single males will be vetted before they're allowed on the resort's grounds. Though just what that process would involve wasn't revealed.

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