|By Larry Kahn, Florida Keys Keynoter, Marathon|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jul. 17, 2005 - The new president of the Lodging Association of the Florida Keys and Key West knows it's her board and not her that sets the group's policy.
Still, Jodi Weinhofer, who starts her new job Monday, said it's pretty clear there are some issues that need continued attention.
"It's a little early for me to set priorities -- the board makes the policy, I act as the head," she said. But one thing she wants to do is keep "expanding our membership. It's very important to have Keyswide presence."
Also garnering attention are continued efforts to get a big commercial carrier to Florida Keys Marathon Airport and finding a way for hoteliers to address the lack of affordable housing.
"I don't think we can go out and start building, but we need to look at incentives," she said.
As president of the Lodging Association, which has 80 members and 160 associate members, Weinhofer replaces Peter Ilchuk, who resigned in May after five years on the job. He and some members of the board reportedly had disagreements over the scope of his job.
Weinhofer is an 11-year resident whose background is in property management. She also shoots photography on the side.
She said that while all areas of the Keys depend on hotels and motels, "it is amazing how much Marathon is changing. Marathon is the next big area to be developed. That's going to spawn a lot of business."
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Copyright (c) 2005, Florida Keys Keynoter, Marathon
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