Sarasota’s failed first try at Ritz-Carlton a long saga

At the beginning of December 1963, the Big Chief Salvage Company arrived at a forlorn reminder of John Ringling’s Roaring ’20s dream, the nearly completed Sarasota Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Situated on the southern tip of Longboat Key, it was to have been the hallmark of his multimillion-dollar development program, stymied to a standstill by the real estate bust followed by the Great Depression, which put such grandiose projects on hold.

Until his death in 1936 Ringling, and afterward his executor, nephew John Ringling North, periodically announced plans to finish the lavish hotel.

It was once considered to be completed as a