Friday, June 26, 2015

Come On Down Y'All!

If you were thinking about taking a vacation in the Fabulous Florida Keys it seems as though the sooner the better because prices look set to keep going up.  Apparently  room prices have shot up in the past five years and hoteliers are saying publicly they think they can keep raising their rates. Certainly one feels that the Lower Keys have seen more than their fair share of tourists this past year but in a world where increasing "numbers" are the only desired way forward this has to be viewed as a Good Thing.
Certainly it doesn't feel as crowded in town anymore. Last winter making a left turn at an intersection felt either like you were going to put down roots before you could make the turn. And to think all those people were ready to pay abnormally high prices to stay here! But you can see why a small town with interesting architecture and prosperous flower beds might appeal, not to mention the bars and associated booze, the relatively clear waters and permanent sunshine, even if the beaches are at best modest.
After all I have been walking around Key West for far too long, even if I am rarely seen in a bar, or in one of the numerous churches, and I still take pleasure in the views. I am waiting for the house below to get air conditioning but so far so good. I confess I would have great difficulty staying up all night at work had I not a dark air conditioned cave to go home to each morning. And a portly snoring dog to serenade me to sleep.
I think about those massive increases in tourist numbers and then I pause to contemplate the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the expected opening to Cuban tourism. I wonder who imagines that mass tourism in Cuba will happen any time soon, as people in this country are notoriously unprepared to rough it on vacation. Of course a few hundred thousand will find electricity-free Cuba to be fascinating and a few more will invade the tourist enclaves like Varadero Beach, but I doubt those people clogging the hotels and guest houses of safe secure Key West will suddenly up sticks and bugger off to Cuba for a change. Look how nervous people are of visiting Mexico since drug gangs started taking their rivalries public, even though most of the country is as it ever was. I doubt Communist Cuba will sneak ferry loads of Americans from visiting this town.
Then there is the snowbird phenomenon to consider. House prices are going back up and here these empty building sit apparently even the secure garage is too full to accommodate the overflow automobile left in town to enjoy the bracing summer salt air  humidity. These are boom times for Key West tourism and I hope the city takes advantage to set thw town up in case of lean times ahead for whatever reason.
Winter crowds get tedious especially as the summer influx of family fun seekers make this town a year round destination these days. But I don't get the animosity toward visitors if one chooses to live in a town that lives off tourism. It would be like going to work and hating your job...oh wait...Joking aside I feel lucky to live where many people want to simply visit and apparently they are willing to pay what it takes to do that. Good job for all of us.