ChicagoSteve saidDo you guys know, is the Island House still there? I thought I had read somewhere that the owners were going to sell and it was going to possibly become a straight property.
Yes, to my knowledge it's still there. It's also true it was in the process of being sold to straights, but the deal went sour last year and the property was removed from the market. The gay owners decided to keep it operating as it was, at least for now.
I'll learn more next week when I'm down there. We have gay business owner friends who are pretty current on the Key West scene, although we don't know the Island House owners themselves.
"but the deal went sour last year"
Hmmmm. I bet I could find a buyer for that.
I'm not sure, the new owners would likely want to be trying to attract a straight crowd. That's how Key West properties are going now, the gay guest houses disappearing, nothing new gay. Island House is OK for gays, but some liabilities for others. For instance, did you know, in case you've never been there:
Some bedrooms are just that - a small room with a bed, with no plumbing, no bathroom! There's a communal hall bath instead.
A nice bath, all marble tile, immaculate & attractive, with adjoining sinks, and gang showers, very old-school dormitory in usage. A great opportunity for gays, especially singles. Maybe not so attractive for straight couples. So that would all have to be redone.
Location's a problem. It's at the very far end of Fleming Street, at the corner of White. With little parking, most on the street. If you take your car anywhere you'll lose the spot. And downtown you'll have trouble parking, too. So you either walk, which is a real hike, or you're always taking a cab. Some people do rent scooters or bicycles in KW, but not to everyone's taste.
There's a spa, with hot tub, sauna and steam room, plus a large gang shower. And a single locker room. But all designed for same-sex. Adapting some of it for mixed sex would present some challenges, mainly the showers and the locker/dressing room.
The entire place is "Key West Ramshackle" as I call it. Old houses connected together, with crooked hallways and no 2 rooms alike, old faded wood or painted in 40 coats. It's authentic Key West, with its own charm, but not what straights from Ohio want. They're interested in the cookie-cutter, fresh-washed Marriott look, just like back in Ohio. They would say they were being ripped off and want their money back.
The unverified word I heard was that the offering price wasn't good enough, and the potential buyers started making last-minute demands the owners wouldn't accept. Who knows? Island House is a great gay oasis if you mainly want to hole-up there (not a pun), and only do a little of the local touristy stuff. Maybe another gay buyer would have interest, but Key West is becoming less gay every year.