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Key West Fantasy Fest not the same for some businesses

MiamiHerald / Fantasy Fest 2017, which came six weeks after Hurricane Irma devastated parts of the Florida Keys, didn’t bring the type of crowds and sales of festivals past, says Duval Street shop owner Samantha Steele.

“Not at all,” said Steele, who owns the jewelry stand Conch Flash in the 200 block of Duval Street, which is party central most of the year for Key West. “I didn’t do nearly as well as last year. I talked to other people who work in this area and they said the same thing: This is not your normal Fantasy Fest.”

The block of Duval, which includes Sloppy Joe’s and Rick’s bar, grew quiet by 11 p.m. Saturday, Steele said. Perhaps it was the rain that followed the costuming festival’s big parade, she noted, but she recalled last year slinging beers in the street until at least 1 a.m.

“I couldn’t believe it because that was my busiest time last year, right after the parade,” Steele said.

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