Podcast 469

Key West. Not what you’d expect. What is the urge to travel all about? Is it a search for that ‘perfect’ place? Something fixed in the mind? A weather-beaten cottage on the beach, in the moonlight? A mountain town in West Virginia, or Tennessee? The high desert? High in the Rockies in Colorado, or Montana, or the pine country of Northern Arizona. ‘The Search’ brought the Bob Davis Podcasts to the Florida Keys. While the keys north of Key West are slightly less ‘touristy’, close to what it must have been like in the 1950’s or 1960’s, Key West seems to have had a little too much success. If you decide to come to any of the keys in season, planning ahead is ‘key’. Even RV Road Rangers will need to make reservations, and will have to research the best places to park, lest you end up in a gravel pit somewhere near a swamp. And no, you won’t be able to park on the beach overnight. Standing on a corner anywhere in Key West one gets the impression that the best thing to do would be to rent a boat and head for the uninhabited smaller Keys that dot the water around the ‘big’ keys, if you want peace and quiet. God knows how much that is. There is something magical about this place, but it is getting shouted down and drowned out by commercialism and tourist pandering that sometimes takes your breath away. 145 dollars for a campsite for one night. 15 dollars to walk through a museum that features a video from a documentary done 20 years ago, and some artifacts from a treasure hunt. Breaking Bad and ‘I’m With Stupid’ T-shirts. Unless you’re staying at an expensive resort, you won’t really have access to a great beach. Vacancies? In season? Now that’s comedy. Peace and quiet? Everywhere you go you’ll be bombarded with music, in various forms of live. Old Town Key West is homey. The people all through the Keys are amazing and helpful. Key West may be considered a rival to the resorts in Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, and other places in the Caribbean, but it doesn’t quite rise to the level of services seen in those kinds of places. Sometimes it feels like the Jersey Shore, but the Jersey Shore actually does ‘Beach Town’ better, in season. Back on Florida’s amazing Interstates, as The Search’ continues, heading for the Gulf Coast. Listen all the way through for a little surprise, especially if you’re still in the frozen north. Sponsored by Brush Studio and Hydrus.(Editor’s Note: Got a message from my best friend in Arizona today. I didn’t just mispronounce Islamorada’s name, I butchered it. My deepest apologies to people who live there, who will have a good laugh I am sure. I won’t even attempt a phonetic spelling. I’ll just have to live with that massive mistake, although I’ll hate it.)  

Comments

Margaret
Reply

I liked listening to this podcast and thinking about the way that geography affects markets. The shape of the keys no doubt affects the beach space, compared to say, the California coast. Institutions also affect markets. I remember visiting Barbados and Trinidad when I was in Grad School. Barbados is like a small town island with a British-style democracy. The beaches are public, but the hotels maintain them to keep them nice for their guests. It works for them. And as a Student, I was able to jog along the beach every morning at daybreak the whole time I was there. Probably no vehicles allowed, though. Trini, the beaches were private. I only got to visit the beach for the day. Also, your nice lady that hooked you up for $140 or whatever it was–and you were mad about it being $30 in the off-season. It’s called peak pricing! I am sure you know that. I know a couple that lives counter peak pricing. They live in MN in the winter and south Texas coast in the summer. And they rent the south Texas place in the winter which gives them a nice supplemental income. It’s not for everybody, but it’s life. for folks that are retired or disabled but don’t want to live on the dole and like to travel.

Bob Davis
Reply

Of course I understand peak pricing, but the comments I am getting indicate people don’t feel they’re getting quite the value from the services offered in the keys. I find when you have to make excuses like, “It’s peak pricing you understand right?”, you’ve already lost the customer.

Margaret
Reply

True enough but what makes peak pricing work in theory is the demand. If the demand isn’t there then the price should be lower. Or maybe it could be even higher! At least under the market theory of value. Maybe we are all socialists now and have an expected value based on our own idea what values should be.

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