A guest inside the San Marco Homewood Suites and Hilton Garden Inn has now caused the hotel nearly $2 million in damage.

That number has grown by about $1 million in the last two weeks, and the hotel's reopening has been further delayed.

The owner of the hotel said the damage was caused when someone tampered with not one but two water valves and unleashed thousands of gallons of water onto five floors.

Landcom Hospitality, the company that owns the hotel, had hoped it would be back open for business by now. But Ron Johnson, the company's president, said the hotel may not be able to reopen until mid-December.

The owners have decided to replace every section of carpet that came in touch with water. The hotel is also replacing pieces of the dry wall that were damaged and selected pieces of furniture. One of the main concerns is mold.


The whole mess may be the work of an angry football fan. According to a police report, employees suspect an angry, drunk Indianapolis Colts fan may have been responsible for opening up the water pipes in two separate stairwells on the night the Jaguars beat their division rivals. Police questioned 29-year-old Ian Taylor, of Clearwater, but he has not been arrested.

Police said they have surveillance video from inside the hotel, but there were no surveillance cameras in the stairwells, where the pipes were tampered with.

"It's brand new, and it's beautiful," former guest Shawnett Thomas said of the hotel. "I stayed there myself before."

Thomas and Kalin Allen work across the street from the hotel and have been watching the cleanup every day.

"I was thinking, if you're staying at the hotel, they know your name," Allen said. "They have your credit card on file. Why would you bust a pipe in their hotel? Doesn't make sense."