Public view from atop La Concha in Key West could go to a new day spa

 
 
The sunset views from the La Concha's rooftop bar could be replaced by six spa suites as the owners of the Duval Street hotel seek approval Tuesday from the Key West Commission.
The sunset views from the La Concha's rooftop bar could be replaced by six spa suites as the owners of the Duval Street hotel seek approval Tuesday from the Key West Commission.
SEAN KINNEY / KeysNet.com

KeysNet.com

A widely unpopular plan to convert the La Concha's rooftop bar into a day spa is poised to get the OK from the Key West City Commission during a meeting pn Tuesday.

Members of the Key West Planning Board, while sympathetic to public opinion, approved the concept via a major development plan back in July.

As city Planning Director Don Craig told members of that board: "Many have an emotional tie," to the space but, "The property owners do have a right to operate within the land development regulations and our recommendation is approval."

The 160-room hotel at 430 Duval is owned by the local Spottswood family and managed by Remington Hospitality of Dallas.

The plan calls for replacing the meeting space and bar with six spa suites at a cost of $1.2 million. Appended to the back-up documents given to commissioners are 28 pages of letters and emails that nostalgically ask for a reprieve that isn't likely forthcoming.

"To remove this from the Key West experience is a step in the direction contrary to what Key West is all about," Jim Marquardt wrote. "This is [like] closing Mallory Square. There has to be a point where you, our city leaders, put your foot down and say enough."

An online petition posted to www.moveon.org and presented to Planning Board Chairman Richard Klitenick garnered some 1,300 digital signatures.

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