Monday, March 16, 2009

The Return of Big Betsy!!!

Well it's about time!
I can't tell you how many times we had taken friends and clients to have their picture take with the enormous, true to life 30 foot high Lobster affectionately known as "Big Betsy".
When the Montessori School purchased the old Treasure Village, they removed Besty in fear of all the attention she got.
I saw this article in Keysnews.com and am so happy she will now be at the Rain Barrel Artist Colony, across the street from her previous location.

"Artist village to display giant lobster
By ROBERT SILK Citizen Staff
The giant lobster that for close to two decades beckoned visitors to Islamorada's Treasure Village artisan gallery soon will have a new home.
Big Betsy, as the lobster is known, was reportedly once deemed the second-most photographed icon in the Florida Keys by Eastman Kodak, behind only the Southernmost Point.
With its former home having been transformed into a school, the lobster has been hidden away in a storage yard off the Overseas Highway. Within the next few weeks, however, the giant crustacean, 30 feet tall by 40 feet long, will re-emerge, luring passersby to the Rain Barrel Artisan Village on Plantation Key.
Rain Barrel Gallery LLC and Big Betsy owners Dennis and Mia Berry finalized a 10-year lease with a purchase option on Monday, Dennis Berry and Rain Barrel co-owner Mike Forster said. They did not disclose terms of the deal.
"We are doing this because we feel in this economy we need to generate more trips to the Rain Barrel for our tenants," Forster said. "We figured that the lobster was a great draw. It always has been a great draw. It was a great draw at Treasure Village and it will be at the Rain Barrel."
The deal caps years of uncertainty about the future of the lobster.
In 2006, as Treasure Village was about to be transformed into the Montessori Island School, Mia Berry announced she would sell her beloved crustacean, purchased from an artist back in 1990, for nearly $200,000.
Forster emerged as a potential buyer, saying he would like to put it at Papa Joe's Marina on Upper Matecumbe Key or at his Mangrove Mike's Café, also on Upper Matecumbe.
Others entertained the idea of putting Big Betsy, which Mia Berry believes is the second-largest lobster on earth, at the bottom of the 18-Mile Stretch where it could serve as an entryway to the Keys.
No deal was struck -- until now.
"I have been working on this for three or four years and finally I've got it done," Forster said.
"I am glad it is going to get out there where people can see it again," Dennis Berry added."

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