Key West spa, Key Coast honeymoon: It’s not just the holidays that are taking their toll on Key West’s tourism industry.
The Key West resort, home to one of the country’s most popular vacation destinations, is experiencing its second consecutive year of declining visitors and hotel occupancy.
Key West-based resort operator Key West Resort & Spa said it expects to be forced to close its resort due to a lack of hotel rooms in the Keys.
According to the company, there are about 1,600 guests staying at Key West hotels, but there are only about 500 rooms available for occupancy, which is a very small percentage of the hotel’s guests.
“It’s the same situation as the rest of the resorts, except we’ve been struggling to keep them open,” said Ryan Taggart, chief operating officer of Key West.
Taggart said the company expects to need to close approximately 50 percent of the resort in 2019 and possibly a little less.
“We’re just not able to sustain that type of growth for those of us who live in the hotels and the other resort guests who have been staying there,” Taggert said.
While Taggarts hotel room figures are disappointing, he noted the resort does have the benefit of a number of additional benefits, including the fact that the resort has one of only a handful of Key Beach resort hotels that are not part of the Key West Hilton.
“Our guests want to be part of Key Biscayne and we have that benefit of being the only Key Bicay resort,” Tagert said, referring to the other Key Biscoe resort.
“And also the resort is so beautiful, there’s not a lot of hotels in Key Bisay.
It’s a beautiful area to visit.”
Key West also announced it is closing the popular Key West Beachfront hotel in 2020.
Key Bays resort also announced a $50 million project to restore Key West as a destination for luxury vacation rentals.
According the Key Bisey resort, Key Bises beachfront hotel will be replaced with a Key Bancas resort and the resort will also include Key West Bayfront and Key West Town.
In 2019, Key City Bancs beachfront will become Key Bocas Beachfront.
The resorts will also be offering a “new-look” Key West Hotel at the new site, which will be open for guests who want a more upscale experience.
According Tagghart, KeyBancas will open in 2019 as a Key City Hotel, a Key Beachfront Resort, and a KeyBiscayne Resort.
“I think the combination of these resorts is going to make it a very, very special resort,” he said.
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