One of the few remaining all-gay resorts in Key West, Florida, the Island House, will soon have new ownership. The resort’s current owner, Jon Allen, announced his plans to sell the property in an email message sent March 3.
In his message Allen wrote, “I have decided to sell the Island House and my home in Casa Caselles. Both will be listed in the next few days.” Jeffrey Smead, director of marketing for the Island House, confirmed the news and said that a sale price will be announced on Friday, March 7.
Opened in 1976, the Island House is one of the longest continuously operated gay resorts in the world. Allen and his partner, Martin Kay, purchased the property in 1999 and invested more than $2.5 million (US) in upgrades. Kay died in December 2013.
“I think I can say without boast that we created at Island House a unique place, a safe and happy space for thousands of gay men to meet, to eat and drink, to make merry. I’m proud of that, but more important in this context, Island House is a successful and profitable operation. I’m confident that its new owner will operate it as a gay men’s resort. It has higher ADRs [average daily rates] and occupancy than any comparable property in Old Town. There’s no good reason to change its model. It’s a success,” Allen wrote.
In addition to its 39 guestrooms, Island House features an outdoor pool and hot tub, a poolside café and bar, a spacious tanning deck, an on-site fitness centre and spa area with an indoor Jacuzzi, steam room and dry sauna. The resort has been called the “best gay resort in the world” by Out Traveler and received a four-crown rating (the highest given) by Spartacus Hotel Guide.
According to Smead, the Island House will continue to conduct business as usual for the time being.
Read more articles about gay Key West.