Our Mission Statement: The mission of the Key West Business Guild is to promote LGBTQ+ travel to Key West through marketing and the promotion of special events; to support local LGBTQ+ owned and/or managed businesses, or other business members that share in the values of the Key West Business Guild. The Guild is committed to preserving, strengthening, protecting, and promoting the LGBTQ+ community’s position in Key West and partnering with other LGBTQ+ organizations to protect the rights and dignity of the LGBTQ+ community.
The Key West Business Guild is motivated by:
Promoting Key West as an ALL-welcoming island destination
Promoting justice and equality for the LGBTQ+ community and ALL people
Ensuring the LGBTQ+ community’s voices are represented
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.
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:
|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 – 2023
Alan Beaubien, Marriott Beachside
Jacqueline Luhta, First Horizon Bank
Patti McLauchlin, City of Key West
Misha McRAE, Key West Botanical Garden
- Jay Berelowitz, Palm Vista Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
- Larry Blackburn, Larry Blackburn Photography
- Paul Murphy, The Saint Hotel
- Jordan Upchurch, Marriott Beachside
- Chuck Licis-Maason, Monroe County Education Foudation
KWBG / Gay Key West Visitor Center Team
- Kevin Theriault – Executive Director ([email protected])
- Fritzie Estimond – Events Coordinator ([email protected])
- Dorian Patton – Executive Assistant
- Pete Arnow – Community Liason
CURRENT KEY WEST BUSINESS GUILD BY-LAWS
Are you interested in sponsoring a luncheon? We have spots available for 2023!
2023 Luncheon Dates
All Luncheons begin at 12 Noon
January 4th —Marriott Beachside
(Speaker Mayor Johnston / Sponsor Two Oceans Digital)
February 1st — Marriott Beachside
(Speaker John Picco (Edward Jones) / Sponsor Terminix)
March 1st – Marriott Beachside
(Speaker -Monroe County Mayor Craig Cates & Marty Jenkins, President of KW Council Navy League / Sponsor Cudjoe Bee)
April 5th — Marriott Beachside
(Speaker – Sheriff Rick Ramsay / Sponsor First State Bank)
May 10th — Marriot Beachside
(Speaker – Current KW City Manager Patti McLauchlin / Sponsor – KW City Manager Patti McLauchlin)
June 7th — Pride Kick Off — Marriott Beachside
(Speaker – Heather Carruthers & Sea-to-Sea Diversity Flag Participants / Sponsor )
July 5th — Marriott Beachside
(Speaker – Key West NEW City Manager Childers / Sponsor- )
August 2nd — Marriot Beachside
(Speaker – David Clay, Lower Keys Medical Ctr / Sponsor – Off the Charts!
Non-profit Spotlight Florida Keys Children Shelter)
September 6th — Womenfest Kick Off — Marriott Beachside
(Speaker – / Sponsor)
October 4th — Marriott Beachside
(Fantasy Fest King/Queen Candidates / Sponsor – LKMC )
November 1st — BOD Elections – Marriott Beachside
(Speaker – Guild Board Candidates / Sponsor – CHI)
December 6th — Annual Meeting & Awards — Marriott Beachside
2023 Mixer Dates
January 11th – Key West Vacation Properties & Realty
February 8th – Key West Botanical Garden
March 8th – Divine Medical Spa
April 12th – Overseas Media Group
May 14th- Drag Brunch @ Mangoes to support the Guild 12pm
June 7th – Pride kick-off @ Hard Rock – ALL Welcome 5-8pm ($20.00 entry)
July 12th – The Rum Bar & La Rubia Panama Hats
August 9th – Tropical Heat Kick-off @ Island House
September 6th – Womenfest Kick-off
September 13th – Fury
October 4th – Suite Dreams on the Beach / Duetto’s
November 8th – Holiday Toy Drive & Mixer @ Rent Key West Duval Square