In March 2018, Key West announced it would shutter its Key West Spa and Aquatic Center in Florida.
Key West said the company had reached a licensing agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which had previously granted Key West the right to operate the facilities.
The state department cited a number of reasons for closing the Key Western spa: poor attendance, the company’s inadequate water quality, poor food safety practices, and a lack of environmental safeguards.
But Key West’s appeal was denied, and the spa chain has continued to operate elsewhere in the United States, including in the state of Delaware.
The Florida Department Of Environmental Protection said in a statement that Key West had failed to provide adequate water and sanitation.
“Key West has failed to demonstrate the required safety standards, which the state department has determined are inconsistent with the standards of the state, or the environmental conditions that the state requires to operate a spa in the proper manner,” the department wrote.
The resort chain also failed to properly conduct water testing of its water, the statement said.
The spa chain was cited in March for an inspection by the Florida Coastal Commission for “not maintaining the highest levels of environmental and health standards.”
The Florida Coastal Commissioner told the Associated Press that the company was given “no time to plan and implement a plan to address the violations.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order in September that required the state to revoke Key Wests license to provide water treatment services.
“In light of the fact that Key World has not met its responsibility under Florida law to maintain the highest standards of environmental health and sanitation, I am directing the state commissioner to revoke the company of its license,” Scott said at the time.
In October 2018, the Florida Commission on Environmental Quality (CEQ) found that Key Western had violated state environmental laws by failing to meet water quality standards and other environmental protections.
Key World was fined $15,000 by the state agency for the violations.
“We are disappointed that the Florida EO, in its totality, did not address our concerns and that the State Department’s final decision does not address these issues,” Key West President and CEO Bill Fickel said in an emailed statement.
KeyWest is one of many chains that have been cited for inadequate water, unsafe food, and environmental problems, according to a report from the Consumer Federation of America.
The group also reported that more than 70,000 people were sickened by the company between January and August 2019, as it closed its facilities in Florida and other states.
In a statement, Ficke said that the “industry is focused on our clients and providing the highest quality care to them.”
The industry also has been sued by environmental groups, including a group that sued the company over a breach-of-contract lawsuit in Texas.