Home Florida Keys News Bureau Stolen During Irma, Recovered “Welcome” Sign Greets Vacationers Again (Video)

Stolen During Irma, Recovered “Welcome” Sign Greets Vacationers Again (Video)


 All drivers entering Key West are again being greeted by a large painted sign welcoming them to “Paradise USA,” following its Tuesday unveiling.

Stolen approximately eight months ago, after it fell during Hurricane Irma, the placard was recovered in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., after a Key West Police Department investigation. It was returned with no questions asked or charges pressed.

Key West’s three Rotary clubs helped underwrite its restoration by a local sign company.

Featuring the image of a Key West sunset over water, the sign also bears a fluted pink-lined conch (pronounced ‘konk’) shell, a symbol of the Florida Keys, and the message, “Welcome to Key West, Paradise USA.”

The original sign, valued at $8,000, was a gift to the city more than a decade ago from the Rotary Club of Key West.

“When this was lost and taken, a piece of Key West was taken from us,” said Key West Mayor Craig Cates, addressing the group of spectators gathered for the unveiling.

“It’s very exciting today to put up our ‘Welcome to Key West’ entrance sign again,” said Cates. “This is the entrance to Key West, Paradise, so we want people to say ‘oh, we’ve arrived, it’s exciting, here we are — we’re going to start our vacation’.”

FloridaKeysNewsBureau release posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, May 2, 2018

Video by Florida Keys News Bureau