FLORIDA: Key West Reopens For Tourists

USA Today reports:

Two weeks after Hurricane Irma devastated the Florida Keys, the first cruise ship docked Sunday in this southernmost city, providing the first boost of tourist dollars to the storm-ravaged area. Key West Mayor Craig Cates said he agonized over the appropriate time to welcome tourists against to his city, which was spared from the worst of Irma’s wrath. But he said the entire region will benefit by tourists coming back.

“We understand and we are compassionate about their situation,” Cates said about the islands farther north that are worse off. “But a lot of them work here. We’re in this together.” That sentiment was echoed in the heart of Key West, as several tourist hot spots reopened for the first time Sunday to welcome the cruise passengers.

Rich Fox, operations manager for Old Town Trolley Tours, said his employees up and down the Keys have been clamoring to get back to work. All their trolleys survived the storm, and they restarted 15 of them that were immediately filled with cruise passengers. “This is absolutely massive for us,” Fox said. “It lets the rest of the world know Key West is up and running.”

Also yesterday the Island House reopened for its traditional Sunday pool party. The hotel portion reopens today.

  • FAEN

    That’s great. Now how about sending PR some fucking help BLOTUS!

    • Joe in PA

      Psssst: wrong color people.

      • FAEN

        Of course. What was I thinking.

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  • worstcultever

    Conch Train!!

  • Sam_Handwich


  • JoeMyGod

    On Saturdays at 11AM there is an LGBT history version of the Old Town Trolley. Highly recommended.

    • JoeMyGod

      The famous Blu Q gay catamaran sunset cruise is also back in business this week. Caption Mo is a riot. http://www.bluqkeywest.com/

      • Bill Harnsberger

        Glad to hear that. We’ve gone several times.

    • Rambie

      I’ve always wanted to visit Key West, I’m glad it’s getting back on it’s feet.

      • ben-andy

        Funny how the Dog Jehovah saved his mighty wrath from Key West, the gayest of the Keys. I asked the flying spaghetti monster to have a word with him. It seems to have helped so I will do it again.

  • Ninja0980

    Nice to have some good news on this day.

  • frogview

    Is there any update about Marathon or Islamorada?

    • HandyAndy

      Water has been restored to all of the Keys, and the electric is on just about everywhere except for Big Pine Key and other small areas in the Lower Keys. Boil water advisory has been lifted for the entire Keys. Most of the damage is to the vegetation, and to any wooden structures and mobile homes. I haven’t gone back home yet to Cudjoe Key because the cable/internet is still out, and I need that in order to work. Comcast is not sure yet when they’re going to get internet service restored. However, I’m going to take Friday off and do a run down to the Keys between the 29th and 1st to survey the damage to my home, clean out the refrigerator, and pack some additional clothes. I’m probably just going to wait to go back home for good till the end of October.

      • Tulle Christensen

        I am hoping for the best for your home

        • HandyAndy

          Thanks. There are some insurance adjusters who are going to go inside and check for water damage sometime this week and then let me know what they find. I did find out that the big tree next to the house fell on the roof, but it appears to have just fallen on it, and not through it. The insurance people are going to have that tree cut down after their walk-through, and then they’re going to cover the roof in tarps until we can arrange for roofers to come and do a permanent fix.

          • 2guysnamedjoe

            You might look into hiring your own adjuster. The insurance company’s adjusters are not your friends.

          • HandyAndy

            Yeah, I’ll see about that after I get back. I’m just glad for now that at least some things are getting done in my absence. They’re really just checking to see if the storm surge got inside, which we’re thinking that it did not, and whether the roof is leaking anywhere from the loss of shingles or from the tree. The fact that they’re going to have the tree cut down and the roof tarped is as bonus.

      • frogview

        Good luck. Be safe in your travel.

      • GayOldLady

        I’m glad you have a home to return to and hope that you and all residents of the Keys are able to get back to your homes and your lives ASAP. Good luck!

  • zhera

    Is the media being silent about Puerto Rico? It’s an outrage that Dumpy is ignoring the disaster there. Houston and Florida: Sure! Photo ops and “we’re doing everything we can to help”. Puerto Rico? FEMA is doing their thing but that’s hardly enough when the island has been demolished!

  • Ken M

    Hard to believe it’s from 1961 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhSKk-cvblc

  • KarenAtFOH

    Why doesn’t FEMA charter some cruise ships to dock in PR and provide shelter for folks?

    • GayOldLady

      Because that makes too much sense!

    • pj

      because don would rather spend his time bitching at football players.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok
    • That_Looks_Delicious

      From everything I’ve been reading, almost all of Puerto Rico’s problems right now are basically due to the electrical grid, which was very out-of-date to begin with and got severely damaged. There are a few thousand people (I read around 4,000) who lost their homes, but on an island of 3.4 million people + all the tourists they get, it shouldn’t be too difficult to accomodate them temporarily. Now, the electrical grid is another story; I’ve read it could take everything from 3 weeks to 6 months in order to restore all the lost power. Other problems snowball from that, however, since in some areas if they don’t have electricity, they also won’t have access to water.

      Considering it took a direct hit by a Category 5 hurricane right through the middle of the island, it could have been a lot worse.

  • Todd20036

    But, God attacked Florida because of icky gays. How could a few fags turn back god’s vengeance so quickly?

  • JWC

    Glad to see the little steps Slowly it will come back