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Beer Can Island has become an integral part of the local community, weaving economic and social threads that enrich its surroundings.

Posted: March 14, 2024
Six years ago, a visionary collaboration transformed this island into a sought-after, membership-based paradise. Partnerships with esteemed charter companies not only elevated its value within the Tampa Bay community but also turned it into a vibrant destination for residents and visitors alike. Currently un-zoned, Pine Key offers a unique opportunity for innovation.

Photos provided by: Carlos Camejo

Welcome to a world where your island dreams become a reality.

Some of the best times as a youth was partying on coastal islands. Some of them you could paddle too, others you could travel by boat or catamaran. It was the ultimate party experience. Don’t get me wrong, there were opportunities for families to unwind at these local privately owned destinations. However, there was always one particular private island, that became a launch pad for all parties and opportunities for fun in the Florida sun. If you are a local, or if you have an in-depth knowledge of the Florida landscape, then you know all about Beer Can Island. At least, that is the name the locals called it. It was a name that was fitting, with the Islands rich history. It is also affectionately known as “Paradise Island”.

ABOUT PARADISE ISLAND (Beer Can Island)

The most recent survey shows the island having an upland of 9 acres and a “shoal area” of approximately 60 +/- acres mainly to the south and west of the uplands.

Beer Can Island – Pine Key – Paradise Island, an extraordinary haven just 2 miles from the mainland, affectionately known as “Beer Can Island.” Encompassing approximately 9 acres of picturesque pine tree-covered upland, along with approximately 60 +/- acres of shoal area, complete with riparian rights and rights of accretion. This pristine property extends a rare invitation to ownership.

Six years ago, a visionary collaboration transformed this island into a sought-after, membership-based paradise. Partnerships with esteemed charter companies not only elevated its value within the Tampa Bay community but also turned it into a vibrant destination for residents and visitors alike. Currently un-zoned, Pine Key offers a unique opportunity for innovation.

In Hillsborough, there are currently four other islands with residential zoning. Notably, one spans 2.58 acres with ‘residential 20’ zoning, emphasizing spacious residential possibilities, and another, 1.41 acres, is zoned ‘residential 4,’ showcasing potential for more concentrated yet appealing layouts. These instances provide valuable insights into the diverse residential zoning options already enjoyed within the county, offering precedents for the island’s prospective development pending proper zoning and regulatory considerations. 

Beer Can Island has become an integral part of the local community, weaving economic and social threads that enrich its surroundings. This isn’t just a property; it’s a narrative, an evolving story of entertainment and good times.

A recent article was published regarding the future of Paradise Island. With its amazing history of catering too thousands of locals and tourists alike, the Island can be yours. This is not an article or interview to promote the sale of the Island. It is more of a reflection of good times, and nostalgia.

As Editor In Chief of Guitar Thrills Magazine, the sale of Paradise Island is a time for celebration. It can be purchased by private or group investors looking to build upon its party atmosphere and to celebrate its legacy.

INTERVIEW WITH RUSSELL LOOMIS AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

Guitar Thrills: Hi Russell. Thank you for taking a moment to talk about Paradise Island. I am familiar with the Island and how you came to own it. However, I would like to invite you toshare some information with our readers regarding it.

How did you come to be a part owner of Paradise Island (AKA Beer Can Island)?

Russell: When I came home to Florida, after 7 years of living in South America, I knew that I wanted to do something unique, which led to building a motorized 2300 sq ft floating tiki bar, which we named Tiki Bay Island. Then We needed a home base for Tiki Bay Island and what better place than an actual island! I tracked down the owner and made an offer, which to my amazement they accepted in less than 24 hours with only 1 condition. They requested that I continue to allow them to dump dredge spoils on the island, I replied “You’re going to make the island larger, free of charge?” He answered “Yes”, I replied, “I’m in, let's do this, who do I make the check-out to?” And the party was on!

Guitar Thrills: What is your background, and the other owners of the property?

Russell: Software developer, carpenter, sales – Entrepreneur, Coleman Weaver: Real estate broker – Entrepreneur, John A. Gadd: DJ, club promoter, Owner of Spin City Discs – Entrepreneur, James West: DJ, Club promoter, contractor - Entrepreneur

Guitar Thrills: Have you had a history of visiting the Island, or was it something you come toenjoy after becoming an investor?

Russell: I had no idea the island existed until a friend of mine posted a photo on Facebook tagged @BeerCanIsland. We were in the middle of building Tiki Bay Island when I saw this post, I showed it to Cole and said let’s go check this place out, we jumped on the jet-skis and cruised over, as soon as we landed on the beach, I said to Cole, we must buy this place! That lead me to hunting down the owner, which took about 5 months to finally get the right person on the phone. It’s been a fantastic ride ever since.

Guitar Thrills: You could have invested your money anywhere. Why Paradise Island? Did yousee a huge return on your investment?

Russell: As for an investment, I love to call the island the Louisiana Purchase, the previous owner basically gave it to us, he liked my story about the floating tiki bar and gave us the deal of a lifetime, we paid less than $64k for the entire island, since then we’ve had several offers to purchase the property, the first one was 2 weeks after we bought the island, the offer was $1.5 million, then another for $3 million a few months later and most recently multiple offers north of $12 million. We literally got the deal of a lifetime and as of today have not yet accepted any offers officially. But that day will come soon, we’re all ready to move on to the next chapter of our lives. 

Guitar Thrills: I know you had concerts at the Island. Who was the most famous artist that you hired to play there?

Russell: The most famous artist to play on the island is Dubfire, (island partners) James West and Naughty Johnny DJ most of the events with the headliners, a few other good names, AudioJack, Double Touch, Oscar L, Christian Smith, Carlo Lio, DJ Paul Santana have played out there as well. 

Country singer Matt Billor is one of my personal favorites, he wrote a song called Beer Can Island, then we helped him produce the music video, such a fun song. Today, there’s 4 or 5 Beer Can Island songs and even 1 in Español. 

Since then, several music videos and several movies have been filmed on the island including the famous YouTuber Zach King filmed a survivor style episode out there last year. Andy Pursell, Livin' in the salt life, Country Cody - Power Poles down and Matt Billor - Beer Can Island are my top 3. 

Guitar Thrills: What is the normal crowd size for these types of functions?

Russell: Normal crowd size is weather dependent, but we’ve had as many as 5000 people on and/or around the island in boats. Holiday weekends, there can easily be 800 to 1000 boats surrounding the entire island. 

Guitar Thrills: How popular is Paradise Island and what is average size of the crowds during the year?

Russell: Beer Can Island has become a household name not only in Florida, but around the United States, we get phone calls daily from every corner of the country asking how to get to the island. As for crowd sizes, it completely depends on the day of the week and the weather, on a windy Monday afternoon, you might have the entire island to yourself, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon it can get packed with up to 5000 people. 

Guitar Thrills: What do the neighbors think about the noise level, or even the amount of people that party at the Island?

Russell: Being that the island is 2 miles offshore in between Mac Dill AFB and Apollo Beach, we don’t really have any neighbors and have yet to get any noise complaints. 

Guitar Thrills: The first thing I think of is that crowd control and behavior must be difficult.

What measures have you put into place to ensure a relatively safe environment?

Russell: Crowd control on a regular weekend hasn’t been an issue, however when we have special events or concerts, we hire extra staff to ensure the safety of all island guests. All our regular scheduled staff are first aid and CPR certified, multiple first aid kits and defibrillators are in multiple locations around the island. 

Guitar Thrills: I understand that Paradise Island is for sale. Why? Especially after so much work investing in a successful project?

Russell: It’s been a fun ride, but all good things must come to an end. The partners and I have decided that we’re ready to move on to the next chapter of our lives. 

Guitar Thrills: What would it take to become an owner of Paradise Island?

Russell: The asking price is $14m, all offers will be entertained. 

Guitar Thrills: I think it is a great idea. Did you have issues with insuring the Island?

Russell: Insurance was tricky to get, being located on an island 2 miles offshore, but I was able to secure it for a decent price. 

Guitar Thrills: What is next for the group that owns Paradise Island? Do you reinvest your profits into a similar but much larger project?

Russell: The next project that I’d like to invest in is a property that I’d like to turn into a self-sustainable eco village/farming community with the idea to have the least amount of monthly bills as possible. I’ve been drawing up plans and ideas for well over 10 years, that’s been my goal for a long time. 

Guitar Thrills: I know you will be successful. Please make sure you keep us up to date, with the sale of the property, and your new venture.




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