Jan 272018

Dear Editor:

My name is Brian Smith and I just wanted to say that I really respect your relentless pursuit of the truth. I too believe that the rules should apply to everybody.

I recently moved back to Key West after 20 years up north, and I’m very surprised at the dramatic change Key West has taken. It’s nothing like what I remember. It used to be such a magical place, completely different from another city in America. Now the uniqueness is gone, and we have CVS and Starbucks on every corner.

The city government has clearly helped a handful of people take complete control over the island, creating monopolies unlike anything I’ve seen. All of the competition is gone. I remember creative street vendors selling stuff on Duval, artists painting on the beach, street performers, and new businesses popping up all the time. What used to make Key West so great was the freedom. The freedom to be who you were, or who you wanted to be. It was a sanctuary for all of societies misfits and dreamers. By regulating everything, the city has pushed out all of the unique characters, and created monopolies which artificially inflate prices and stifle growth.

I also recently learned that the city is not allowing homeowners to use Airbnb, which I think is another nail in the coffin. The monopoly that exists in Key West is what’s causing the prices to be so high. If homeowners were allowed to rent their property, that would create more supply than demand, and the prices would come down. But obviously the city doesn’t want their friends to loose money.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my opinion and let you know that I admire you for what you’re doing. Keep up the good work.

Brian Smith

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 January 27, 2018  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #253, Letter to the Editor  Add comments

  One Response to ““The Uniqueness Is Gone””

  1. As a couple that goes to KW several times a year since 73 must agree we have seen many changes. Some for the better but much is not. It still is a very open minded place and dam few will say anything about what your wearing other than something positive.
    You do see more men being openly gay, holding hands and kissing. This does not upset me a bit as it is part of the one human family. As long as not trying to pick me up then no issue. The few that have take a simple no thanks. We too miss things like benches and the pier show like it once was. Each trip down we try to find something new. The cost has got way far too costly for many. It still is a dam great party town.

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