One Year After Irma

As we come upon the one-year anniversary of Irma, I can’t help but reflect on all that has and is happening.  From tragedy, to rebuilding and repairing, to recovering, and some normalcy; we have truly come a long way. Most of our hotel rooms are now back online, including Hawks Cay, along with some new rooms at The Hampton Inn. We lost a few businesses but gained a few new ones (Isla Bella Resort, Keys Dance Academy, Hampton Inn, etc.), most residents are back in their primary homes but some have moved and relocated. Our hospital took a walloping but is open and serving our community and looking to completely rebuild.  We have new workforce housing units approved and looking to start construction within one-two years, and our canals are being cleaned (kudos to our City of Marathon).

In the meantime your Marathon Chamber continues to remain a healthy, and active organization dedicated you supporting your needs and success.  Since Irma we have been working with our County and City on economic development and recovery initiatives, held countless seminars and events to connect businesses to services, and have stayed the course on our annual programs such as donating $5,000 in scholarships to MHS seniors earlier this year; $10,000 to Marathon Chamber members for continuing education scholarships, $5,000 in scholarships towards Middle Keys students in the Take Stock in Children program, and also our annual Business Beautification Grant Program where we award up to ten (10), $2,000 beautification grants to business-members.


We are also about to host a business seminar focusing on Digital & Social Marketing for your Business. Please contact us to sign up, as a member you receive a discounted rate.  I am very excited about this class as participants will learn how to put your brand/business in front of customers, no matter where they are looking, using digital advertising strategies.  I hope you can attend, please contact us ASAP to secure your space.


Later this month you, our valued member will make another very important decision. Electing seven (7) new members to the Marathon Chamber Board of Directors.  You will receive your ballots any day now, so please be sure to vote!  The Board is dedicated to representing our business-members, as well as setting the overall direction of your Marathon Chamber of Commerce; therefore your vote definitely counts and determines the leaders you wish to have representing you.


You will also have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for our annual BIG RAFFLE CONTEST. It culminates at our Awards Banquet on Oct. 5th at (the newly opened) Hawks Cay Resort (save the date please).  Prizes include a luxury vacation of your choice or $2,000.00 cash, a 2-night stay at Isla Bella Beach Resort plus a $100 resort credit (for spa, dining, etc.), and multiple $100.00 gift certificates to great local restaurants.  Tickets are only $25.00 each and benefit our scholarship program; only 500 tickets max will be sold.  Please be sure to contact us anytime to get your tickets before they run out.

Have a great September everyone; please be sure to contact us for any business assistance, needs, etc.  Our doors are always open and no request is out of bounds. While we will never forget Irma I look forward to a fresh start and a strong finish to 2018!



Chief Executive Officer

Daniel Samess, M.S.

Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

12222 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050

W: (305) 743-5417 / F: (305) 289-0183


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