Our Mission Statement: The mission of the Key West Business Guild is to promote LGBT travel to Key West through marketing and the promotion of special events; to support gay-owned, gay-managed, and gay-friendly businesses; to strengthen the Gay community’s position within the local community by supporting relevant LGBT issues.
The Key West Business Guild (KWBG) is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting Key West to LGBTA travelers. We provide comprehensive information about Gay Key West and promote our member organizations to a national and international travel market. This work helps to attract about 250,000 LGBTA travelers here each year, earning Key West the well-deserved reputation as one of the most appealing gay-friendly destinations in the world.
The Guild was formed in 1978 to encourage summer tourism and support Key West’s gay community. The KWBG is the nation’s first LGBTQ destination marketing organization. From a small original membership, it has grown to include more than 475 enterprises representing virtually every facet of the island’s business community.
Today, the Key West Business Guild ranks among the nation’s leading gay business associations, and its marketing efforts, supported by the Florida Keys Tourism Development Council, incorporates a gay marketing specialist and an award-winning advertising campaign.
The Guild also operates the Gay Key West Visitor Center located at 808 Duval Street. Walk-in visitors can find a warm welcome and an informative introduction to the island, events, local businesses, and area attractions.
In addition, the KWBG produces several annual signature events that support area businesses and attract visitors from around the world: Key West Pride, Tropical Heat, Key West Womenfest, and Headdress Ball! LGBTA visitors have something special to enjoy year-round.
Membership in the Key West Business Guild (KWBG) comes with many networking and marketing benefits. It also comes with one very important responsibility: to provide a safe place for our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) visitors and local community members. Membership with the KWBG includes a commitment to support and promote Gay Key West.
Benefits of Membership
- Business name and contact info listed in the printed Gay Key West Map & Directory which is widely distributed worldwide and throughout the Florida Keys
- Business name and contact info listed on www.gaykeywestfl.com with a complimentary link
- Opportunity to distribute your business promotional materials at the Gay Key West Visitor Center and membership luncheons
- Opportunity to send your ad or announcements to the Guild membership via our weekly e-newsletters
Fee-Based Promotional Opportunities
- Banner ad on www.gaykeywestfl.com
- Premiere web directory listing on www.gaykeywestfl.com
- Print ad on the Gay Key West Map & Directory
- Advertising in the Gay Key West Visitor Center on the TV monitors
- Promotional materials distributed at travel shows worldwide
- Advertising in our Events Guides
General Business Member:
A General Business Member must be located in the City of Key West or below the Seven Mile Bridge, Monroe County, and have the applicable business license (s). A General Business Member shall have the right to participate in all KWBG activities, including voting and advertising.
General Business Memberships consist of the following categories:
- General – $225
- Restaurant & Bar up to 50 Seats – $300
- Restaurant & Bar over 50 Seats – $325.00
- Lodging & Vacation Rentals up to 20 Rooms – $325.00
- Lodging & Vacation Rentals over 20 Rooms – $500
Associate Member: $750.00
Associate Members are located above the Seven Mile Bridge. An Associate Member may not vote in KWBG elections and may not be an Officer or Director-at-Large in the KWBG, but receives the other benefits of General Business Membership.
Nonprofit Member: $125.00
A Nonprofit Member must have its primary center of activity in Key West; however, it is not required to obtain a business license from the City of Key West. Proof of 501 (c) (3) or (6) status is required. A Nonprofit Member has one vote in KWBG elections regardless of the number of members.
Individual Member: $50.00
An Individual Member must reside at least two months of the year in the City of Key West or below the Seven Mile Bridge, Monroe County. An Individual Member shall have the right to participate in all KWBG activities including voting, but not promotional or advertising benefits associated with the General Business Membership.
Additional Listings: $150.00
Join at the highest level and add additional business listings for $150 each.
Our Board & Staff
KEY WEST BUSINESS GUILD BOARD OF DIRECTORS – 2019
Alan Beaubien, Marriott Beachside
Charles Licis, Take Stock in Children & Monroe County Education Fdn
Tonya Colston, Red Pants Collection
Gavin Dietrich, Goldman’s Deli
- Kevin “Woody” Wood, Hemingway Rum Company
- Bernadette Restivo, Restivo & Vigil-Farinas
- Ashley Hoyt, Key West Wellness Center
- Paul Murphy, The Saint Hotel
KWBG / Gay Key West Visitor Center Team
- Dan Skahen – Executive Director
- Kevin Theriault – Office Manager
- Fritzie Estimond – Events Coordinator / Office Assistant
CURRENT KEY WEST BUSINESS GUILD BY-LAWS
2019 Luncheon Dates
All Luncheons begin at 12 Noon
January 2nd — Marriott Beachside
February 6th — Marriott Beachside
March 6th – Marriott Beachside
April 3rd — Marriott Beachside
May 1st — Tavern N Town
June 5th — Pride Kick Off — Marriott Beachside
July 3rd — Marriott Beachside
August 7th — Marriot Beachside
September 4th — Womenfest Kick Off — Marriott Beachside
October 2nd — Marriott Beachside
November 6th — Marriott Beachside
December 4th — Annual Meeting & Awards — Marriott Beachside
2019 Mixer Dates
January 9th — Curry Mansion
February 13th — Viva Saloon
March 13th — Havana Cabana
April 10th — 801 Bourbon
May 8th — Pillar Rum
June 5th — Island House (Pride Kickoff)
July 10th — Keys Collection 24North
August 14th — *Island House TH kick-off
September 11th — Key West Printing
October 9th — The Laureate
November 13th — Oldest House
December 11th — Alonzo’s Oyster Bar