Thursday, May 24, 2012

Joe Roth’s Name to be Added to Islamorada’s Whale Harbor Bridge

Yes, I know it's now the Postcard Inn at Holiday Isle and yes the renovations have been outstanding, but it will always be The Holiday Isle to me.
This locale was the sight of so many of my Sunday afternoons. At the Tiki  Bar, at The Sand Bar, at The Float up Pool Bar....hmmm lot of bars...lol  A ritual really.  A Keys-z somewhat debauched detachment from reality.  All for the price of a Rum Runner.

And the man who really MADE Holiday Isle that great escape was Joe Roth Jr.  I saw this article today from the FreePress and was delighted to see that The bridge will be in his honor.  Very well deserved indeed!

Joe Roth’s name to be added to Islamorada’s Whale Harbor Bridge

BY ROBERT SILK Free Press Staff rsilk@keysnews.com
During the 1980s and ’90s, Joe Roth Jr. transformed Holiday Isle Resort from a quaint but struggling hotel into an Upper Keys icon that drew revelers from around the region and beyond.
This week, nearly two years after Roth’s death, the Village Council is slated to take one of the final steps in getting the bridge at Holiday Isle’s doorstep marked in his honor.
Under a bill passed by the Florida Legislature this year, the Whale Harbor Bridge is already slated to become the Whale Harbor Joe Roth Jr. Bridge when the fiscal year begins on July 1. The passage of that formal commemoration of Roth was the culmination of an effort that started at the urging of the Village Council in late 2010 and was then championed in Tallahassee by state Sen. Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami, and state Rep. Ron Saunders, D-Key West.
Now the process circles back to the Village Council. On Thursday, May 24, the council will vote on a formal resolution calling on the Florida Department of Transportation to erect the Roth sign.
Whale Harbor Sand Bar right off the Holiday Isle
Assuming passage, the sign would likely go up in about eight weeks, said FDOT spokesman Brian Rick.
Roth’s son, Joe III, said the family is excited that the marker could soon become a reality.
“I think it is a fitting honor for him, given that he brought so much to the community, and he brought so much to that area of Islamorada, and he gave so much back to the community,” Roth III said Monday.
Roth Jr., who was 63 when he succumbed to cancer, was part of a three-man partnership that purchased Holiday Isle at a courthouse auction in 1983. In the decade-and-a-half that followed, his gregarious ways and flair for promotion helped make the Coney Island-motifed Windley Key lady a South Florida icon.
Roth tripled the size of the Isle’s World Famous Tiki Bar, developed the concept for the Rum Runners cabana bar and saw the potential of Bartenders’ Bash, the late spring party for hospitality workers that would go on to both bedevil and enthrall Islamorada for many years.

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