Florida Keys News
Monday, June 16, 2014
Seaport name change on agenda

City commissioners will decide Tuesday whether to re-christen the downtown Key West Bight as Key West Historic Seaport, in an effort to brand the tourist attraction that has been known by many names over the years.

The Bight Management Board and city staff spent months hashing out a proper name for the harbor neighborhood that borders Caroline Street and Trumbo Road and an advertising firm, Black Dog, volunteered its time to help.

The volunteer bight board approved the Key West Historic Seaport brand name May 14 with a 7-0 vote, but city commissioners have the final say.

"The purpose of the official name for branding is to focus all marketing materials and signage to one recognizable and easily searchable target," Doug Bradshaw, port and marine services director, wrote in a memo to City Manager Bob Vitas. "This will allow visitors to find the seaport easily from both the upland side and marina."

The branding effort was sorely needed, bight board members said, because the city seaport is confusingly known by several different official names: The current logo reads Harborwalk Key West Historic Seaport, while the city-owned marina on websites is called Key West Bight Marina, while the website's address is keywestseaport.com.

Outside of Key West, the word "bight," isn't well-known and is rarely used, Black Dog advertising experts said.

Bight, defined as "a bend in a coast forming an open bay," dates back to the 15th century and comes from the Old English word for bend, according to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary.

To add to the name game, Key West has a second "bight," at Garrison Bight, which is also home to the historic Charter Boat Row, as well as a city-owned marina and the privately owned Garrison Bight Marina, 711 Eisenhower Drive.

Commissioners meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Old City Hall, 510 Greene St.

After their regular meeting, they are scheduled to adjourn and reconvene as the Caroline Street Corridor and Bahama Village Community Redevelopment Agency to make the bight name decision.

After the May 14 vote, city staff acquired the rights to the domain name, www.keywesthistoricseaport.com, which had belonged to someone else.

gfilosa@keysnews.com

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