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
  • 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.

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, 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

  • Bernadette Restivo, Restivo & Vigil-Farinas
  • Ashley Hoyt, Key West Wellness Center
  • Paul Murphy, The Saint Hotel
  • Gavin Dietrich, Goldman’s Deli
  • 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

2020 Luncheon Dates

All Luncheons begin at 12 Noon

January 10th — Marriott Beachside

February 5th — Marriott Beachside

March 4th – Marriott Beachside

April 1st — Marriott Beachside  CANCELLED

May 6th — Marriot Beachside  CANCELLED

June 3rd — Pride Kick Off — Marriott Beachside CANCELLED

July 1st — Marriott Beachside

August 5th — Marriot Beachside

September 2nd — Womenfest Kick Off — Marriott Beachside

October 7th — Marriott Beachside

November 4th — BOD Elections – Marriott Beachside

December 2nd — Annual Meeting & Awards — Marriott Beachside

2020 Mixer Dates

January 15th — KW Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

February 12th —Southernmost Nail Bar & Spa

March 25th — Curry Mansion – CANCELLED

April 8th — Hard Rock Cafe – CANCELLED

May 13th — Ben & Jerry’s -CANCELLED

June 3rd — Island House (Pride Kickoff) -POSTPONED

July 12th – Welcome Back Drag Mixer @ Mangoes ($20.00 entry)

August 12th — *Island House TH kick-off (Men only event)

September 9th — Better than Sex

October 14th — Bourbon Street Pub

October 28th – Keys Federal Credit Union

November 18th — Oldest House – Annual Toy Drive

800-535-7797

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