About Us

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 LGBTQ+ issues.

The Key West Business Guild (KWBG) is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting Key West to LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ 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! LGBTQ+ visitors have something special to enjoy year-round.

KWBG Crew
Chuck - KWBG President

Join Us!

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 Pay/Renew
Restaurant & Bar up to 50 Seats $300 Pay/Renew
Restaurant & Bar over 50 Seats $325 Pay/Renew
Lodging & Vacation Rentals up to 20 Rooms $325 Pay/Renew
Lodging & Vacation Rentals over 20 Rooms $500 Pay/Renew

Associate Member:  $750 Pay/Renew
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 Pay/Renew
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 Pay/Renew
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 Pay/Renew
Join at the highest level and add additional business listings for $150 each.

Become a KWBG Member today and proudly display your rainbow KWBG sticker!

Our Board & Staff

KEY WEST BUSINESS GUILD BOARD OF DIRECTORS – 2020

PRESIDENT
Charles Licis-Masson, Take Stock in Children & Monroe County Education Fdn

VICE PRESIDENT
Dan Skahen, Preferred Properties

TREASURER
Jacqueline Luhta, IberiaBank

SECRETARY
Misha McRAE, Key West Botanical Garden

DIRECTORS-AT-LARGE

  • Patti McLauchlin, City of Key West
  • Larry Blackburn, Larry Blackburn Photography
  • Paul Murphy, The Saint Hotel
  • Jenn Stefanacci Portier, 22 & Company @ Aquaplex
  • Alan Beaubien, (President Emeritus)  Marriott Beachside

 KWBG / Gay Key West Visitor Center Team

  • Kevin Theriault – Executive Director ([email protected])
  • Fritzie Estimond – Events Coordinator ([email protected])
  • Dorian Patton – Events Assistant
  • Pete Arnow – Community Liason

CURRENT KEY WEST BUSINESS GUILD BY-LAWS

KWBG By-Laws Updated November 2012

KWBG Luncheon

2021 Luncheon Dates

All Luncheons begin at 12 Noon

December 2nd – Annual Meeting & Awards  Marriot Beachside

January 6th — Marriott Beachside

February 3rd — Marriott Beachside

March 3rd – Marriott Beachside

April 7th — Marriott Beachside

May 5th — Marriot Beachside

June 2nd — Pride Kick Off — Marriott Beachside

July 7th — Marriott Beachside

August 4th — Marriot Beachside

September 1st — Womenfest Kick Off — Marriott Beachside

October 6th — Marriott Beachside

November 3rd — BOD Elections – Marriott Beachside

December 1st — Annual Meeting & Awards — Marriott Beachside

2021 Mixer Dates

November 18th – Four Marlins

December 9th – Waterfront Playhouse – Rescheduled Date TBA

January 13th — Amsterdam’s Curry Mansion Inn

February 10th —Alexander’s Guesthouse

March 10th — Hard Rock

April 14th — Nail Bar (Duval Square)

May 12th —TBA

June 2nd — Island House (Pride Kickoff)

July 14th – TBA

August 11th — *Island House TH kick-off (Men only event)

September 8th – TBA

October 13th – TBA

November 10th – TBA

800-535-7797

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