Looking back, this past year has held a lot of special meaning for me. Growing up, I always worked at the Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge (BPKFL) and decided in college that coming back to the BPKFL would be my dream job. Now that I have had a chance to be a part of the day to day operations, I have learned so much about what makes it a special place, not just for our family, but your families as well.
My grandparents bought this property over 40 years ago with the idea that the business they created would last for generations. In the early years, I am sure there were moments when they thought it all might fall apart, but they never wavered. With a lot of determination they carved a beautiful paradise out of this property, and everywhere I look, I see the imprint of their vision and life’s work. More and more each day I appreciate all they did to make the BPKFL a reality and to pass it on to future generations.
By coming back year after year, many of you have created the same kind of legacy for your families: a legacy of memories that will last a lifetime. This idea of generations of guests coming back each year has always been a part of the BPKFL, but this past couple of years I had the chance to see it in a whole new light. At each and every event, a guest is sure to approach me and tell me a story about their family and the experiences they have had at the BPKFL. Playing a role in your happy memories is truly an honor and we are so grateful to be a part of the legacy you are passing on to your own children.
As for myself, I have never been more aware of the impact the current generation will leave on the property and on our guests. When we make improvements, when we add events, a part of me is always focused on the legacy I will leave, not just for my own children, but for generations of future visitors. From the fire pit to the addition of the annual pig roast, the litmus test for each of these is whether they will stand the test of time. Will what we add to the property, add to your experiences? Can we create an environment that will bring you back year after year, generation after generation?
My hope is that the vision of my grandparents will be realized. That we will pick up the legacy they so generously created for us and continue to add our own unique impressions to it. That we will care for it with future generations in mind, and leave them with a stronger, better BPKFL to take into the future. Thank you so much for being a part of our legacy and for letting us be a part of yours. We are so grateful to have you here and look forward to many more years ahead.
by Brian Gladwell