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Image of the Week: Paradise Found

The cluttered trinket shops are gone from the docks of Holiday Isle, the final destination of the Florida Powerboat Club’s annual season-opening Miami Boat Show Poker Run to the mid Florida Keys in Islamorada. The Holiday Isle “Resort”—as generous a use of the word as was ever applied—has been transformed into the Post Card Inn, while if not luxurious is at least clean and tidy and managed by folks who actually seem to care. Gone is the site’s tired, coffee-shop-style restaurant, replaced by an upscale burger joint called Shula Burgers.

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Big changes have been made to holiday Isle, the final destination for the annual Miami Boat Show Poker Run, but the natural environment itself needed no improvement. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image

Without question, the trappings of Holiday Isle have changed for the better. About the only thing from the original setting, and it needed to stay, is the Tiki Bar.

But the natural environment itself, as is clear from this fine Jay Nichols photo, needed no improvement. In fact, you could argue that this classic Florida Keys paradise always was and always be the run’s main attraction.

As you can see from the folks still off-loading their luggage from their boats (in the far right of the image you’ll find a woman in a neon green bikini wheeling her bag toward hotel registration—something that will resonate with anyone who’s ever done the run) Nichols captured this photo shortly after the poker run fleet arrived on Thursday. Many of the boats in the shot didn’t move again until the mass departure yesterday morning. Some made short jaunts and day runs (read the story on the Marine Technology, Inc., lunch run) but most stayed put.

That because Holiday Isle in the mid Florida Keys is—in and of itself regardless of how polished its amenities may become—a great place to be.

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