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 Not-for-profit organization (501C6) 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.

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KWBG Crew

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, transgender , and queer (LGBTQ+) visitors and local community members. Membership with the KWBG includes a commitment to support and promote  Key West as an all inclusive and welcoming community – however a person identifies. 

To join – please click the link below, complete the application online or you can print the form (PDF located at the bottom of the online form) and email the application to: [email protected] or mail to 808 Duval Street, Key West FL 33040.  You can also pay for your membership below. If you have any questions about membership – please do not hesitate to reach out to us! You can email Kevin at [email protected] or call 305-294-4603. We look forward to partnering with you!

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 – 2022

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

VICE PRESIDENT
Jacqueline Luhta, First Horizon Bank

TREASURER
Patti McLauchlin, City of Key West

SECRETARY
Misha McRAE, Key West Botanical Garden

DIRECTORS-AT-LARGE

  • Jay Berelowitz, Palm Vista Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
  • 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
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Luncheon Sponsorship

Are you interested in sponsoring a luncheon? We have spots available for 2023!

2022 Luncheon Dates

All Luncheons begin at 12 Noon

January 5th — La Trattoria

(Speaker Mayor Johnston / Sponsor Big Ass Wood Floors)

February 2nd — Marriott Beachside

(Speaker Stacey Mitchell – TDC / Sponsor NRG 93.7 Radio)

March 2nd – Marriott Beachside

(Speaker Patti McLauchlin KW City Mgr.)

April 6th — Marriott Beachside

(Speaker Chief Brandenburg & Autism Society of the FL Keys)

May 4th — Marriot Beachside

(Speaker Commissioner Mary Lou Hoover / Sponsor Live Well Travel Often)

June 1st — Pride Kick Off — Marriott Beachside

(Speaker Elle Taylor – Blurring the lines between love and hate / Sponsor AquaPlex)

July 6th — Marriott Beachside

(Speaker Peter Batty, Key West Housing Authority / Sponsor Key West Vacation Properties & Realty)

August 3rd — Marriot Beachside

(Speaker – Dr. Alan M Nieder / Sponsor Mt. Sinai)

September 7th — Womenfest Kick Off — Marriott Beachside

(Speaker – Elisa Levy, KW Strategic Plan / Sponsor Palm Vista Nursing & Rehabilitation)

October 5th — Marriott Beachside

(Speaker David Clay, LKMC / Sponsor Florida Keys Democrats)

November 2nd — BOD Elections – Marriott Beachside

(Speaker Mt. Sinai & Guild Board Candidates / Sponsor -The Gardens Hotel )

December 7th — Annual Meeting & Awards — Marriott Beachside

(Sponsor Realty One Group)

2022 Mixer Dates

January 12th – Conch Republic Seafood

February 9th – AquaPlex

March 9th – Wino at La Concha

April 21st – Adult Toy Race @ Mary Ellen’s

May 11th- Argo Navis

June 1st – Pride kick-off @ Island House – ALL Welcome 5-8pm ($20.00 entry)

July 13th – Grand Vin

August 3rd – Tropical Heat Kick-off @ Island House

September 14th – Canceled

October 12th – Lighthouse Hotel

November 9th – Holiday Toy Drive & Mixer @ Kaya Island Eats

800-535-7797

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