A few years ago we “Photoshopped” a casino on Pigeon Key for April Fool’s Day. The backlash was swift and hilarious.
We used the Bellagio from Las Vegas and there is no possible way a 5 acre island could support a facility of that magnitude. While the Pigeon Key tour guides would welcome the shade, a 30-story resort would shatter any and all height restrictions and would surely interfere with the migration patterns of some kind of bird that does not pay taxes or use sewers. Plus, the first hurricane would send it crashing down onto the 7 Mile Bridge.
Even the lake between the hotel and the Vegas strip that houses the world famous fountains is 8 acres, so a developer would need several hundred acres of land to build a comparable resort with adequate parking and enough space to install the proper infrastructure needed to sustain a facility that big.
So the idea needs to be sold to the industrious and indigenous tribes of south Florida and sometimes the land is harder to give back than it was to take in the first place.
A couple days ago three community activists with shiny badges entered the Weekly headquarters and said, “What if we put a casino on Boot Key?”
The idea sounded ridiculous enough to grace our pages, but before any serious research is actually done on the subject, we want to stick our big toe in the water and turn this into an issue for the November City Council election.
Even though funds have been appropriated by the legislature so Florida Forever can purchase the 800 acre island and turn it into an eco-park, they still need to come up with the money.
The Miccosukees have money and know how to run casinos. Imagine thousands of visitors filing off the planes at the Marathon Airport and using junior’s college fund to pay for a new city hall, fire station, sewers, and beautify US 1.
Other benefits could include a Walmart, bowling alley, and even an Arby’s. Studies have shown that casinos create business and tourism.
The idea is crazy, but so is Marathon.
People called Henry Flagler nuts for building a railroad, but that turned out pretty good for the people of the Florida Keys.
It’s time to put all this nonsense about Walgreens aside and go after something big.