KEY WEST (CBSMiami) – This weekend is a party weekend in the Keys.
Tourism officials report strong Labor Day weekend lodging occupancy for the Florida Keys, a week after Tropical Storm Isaac brushed the island chain.
Isaac’s sustained winds up to 60 mph, when it brushed the Keys, left no significant impacts, but visitors were urged to leave before the storm arrived.
Officials estimated about $12 million in lost tourism revenues, saying deficits would have been much greater had Isaac arrived during busier times.
Several Keyswide Labor Day special events are providing additional incentives for visitors to return.
Among them, Key West BrewFest attracted almost 2,000 guests to a Saturday afternoon oceanside tasting celebration. BrewFest continues through Monday.
“Tourism is absolutely doing very well this weekend; we are lucky in the Florida Keys and Key West,” said Matthew Babich, general manager of the Southernmost Hotel Collection that co-presented BrewFest, during the beachfront tasting festival. “We dodged another bullet without any significant damage whatsoever and, as you can look around this beach and see, people are back in Key West and enjoying themselves as they always do.”
Attendees at the sold-out charity tasting sampled more than 140 beers, ales and microbrews.
“BrewFest Key West is all about a celebration of beer and the many types of beer from all over the world, and the state of Florida, here in Key West,” said Babich.
Other BrewFest attractions include educational seminars, beer brunches and multi-course dinners, craft beer and music events and a pool party.
The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this news story.