Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Cruising

The city commission in Key West is pondering how to reduce cruise ship passengers from landing in vast numbers in the city. The battle which seemed to be over when the Governor signed a state law overriding local initiatives to limit cruise ship passenger numbers.
It's a frantic business as newspapers are reporting an advocate of cruise ships gave the Governor a million dollars to sign the law under the usual embarrassing guise of "no quid pro quo" lobbying.
Meanwhile the opponents of massive  seabed churning cruise ships argue the city can pass a local law limiting the number of passengers a cruise ship can land. It's an interesting debate to me as the local control loving Republicans in Tallahassee stomp on the local law preferred by Key West Democrats. 
This isn't directly about partisan politics, its all about local politics and playing to your audience. Cruise ship passengers don't bother me one way or the other. if there are a ton of marked cruise ship passengers swarming three blocks of Lower Duval I have plenty of the city to enjoy where they have no clue how to find me. 
I have seen a  ton of business tore fronts go out of business and these are hardly the kind of businesses locals need, though some are restaurants others are branches of chains devoted to tourist knick knacks.
The question is really one of economics. If you need three jobs to survive is the city commission doing you any favors by depriving you of places to seek employment?  Supporters of cruise ships make the point they are opposed by Weather people whose income is not dependent on mass tourism. 
Its just one more  step down the long gentrification path that Key West has been trying to deal with. In the end money talks and I'm betting cruise ships of any size and in any number will end up docking in Key West and I don't suppose they will make pirate town any the more interesting or exciting or eccentric.