Bars & Hotels Are Re-Opening & Fantasy Fest Still On For October
Nearly a month after Hurricane Irma sent both locals and visitors fleeing, the Florida Keys and Key West are back open and welcoming back tourists.
October 1 became the official day in which visitors were allowed to return to the Keys through the Overseas Highway making it a true #SundayFunday for business owners from Key Largo to Key West.
This is just in time for the busy fall tourism season – a key goal of officials and business owners – as well as visitors. Thousands will be making their way to Key West later in the month for the week-long celebration known as Fantasy Fest (Oct. 29-29).
This is a huge annual event for the Key West economy.
However, instead of a line of tourists making their way down the Overseas Highway stopping for conch fritters, rum runners and Key Lime Pie before rolling up to Mallory Square just in time for sunset, there were mostly empty roads.
That’s because heavy rain arrived Thursday and has yet to let up; in fact, showers are forecast for all the way into the next weekend. That’s just what this area does not need as up to 80% of the housing was been damaged or destroyed by Irma, in addition to the fact the area relies heavily on tourism and needs tourists to be in the Keys and spending money.
Cruise ships returned the previous Sunday to the port at Key West – right at Mallory Square – but most passengers will be staying on board rather than walking around to the many t-shirt shops, popping into Sloppy Joe’s or Captain Tony’s Saloon for a couple of drinks or seeking out the best Key Lime Pie spots.
But Fantasy Fest is just around the corner, and that could help Key West turn the corner.