We are proudly family owned and operated with a history as long as the beautiful beaches that surround us. It started with a vision of our founder Bruno Reitano. Bruno, a vivacious, hard working Italian immigrant began his successful business career in Pennsylvania before moving he, his wife and 3 daughters to Maryland. There, he had multiple successful businesses through hard work and help from his daughters and wife. Nonno (as he became affectionately called by Grandchildren) began feeling the effects of his hard work in the form of arthritis. He went to his family Dr who encouraged him to take the auto train to the largest epsom salt soak, the Gulf of Mexico. Nanno and his youngest daughter Mary got on the auto train and headed to Florida. Once, off the train they hailed a cab. It was late in the day and growing dark. Nanno asked the driver to take them to the most beautiful beach around with easy access to the Gulf's nurturing, gentle salt waves.
The driver took them to Pass-A-Grille. Nanno and early 20’s Mary checked into a hotel and went to sleep. Upon waking they looked outside and discovered a paradise unlike anything they’d ever seen. They began exploring and discovered an empty parcel of land. Nanno, always the businessman had a vision to build a hotel. He and Mary enjoyed their time while away but quickly devised a plan to create a life in this paradise they’d stumbled upon.
The Keystone (named after the Keystone state) was proudly built in 1945.
Nanno moved to Florida and began running the businesses with his two older daughters. Mary, stayed behind in Maryland to run the businesses and send money to Florida to keep the Keystone going and to help Nonnos other newly built property at 709 Gulf Way stay afloat. During that time, Pass-A-Grille was truly an unknown paradise and spreading the word of businesses was no easy task.
Mary sadly became widowed at a very young age and with three young children she decided to stay in Maryland until all had finished high school. An opportunity she didn’t have. Once, Mary’s youngest daughter Mary Jo had graduated from high school they moved to Florida permanently.
Once in Florida, Mary and Mary Jo continued to build the legacy that was began by Mary’s father, Bruno. As time passed, Mary Jo met a young man named Bob and they were married. While Bob had a career in Law Enforcement the Keystone was always and still is the heartbeat of the family. Mary Jo and Bob had a daughter, Danielle who was taught to swim in the very pool that her Mom, Mary Jo grew up swimming in. Eventually, all four would work at the Keystone side by side.
Mary also affectionately referred to as Mom & Nanny was our matriarch and treated her guests like family. Mary would often say that a sunset was “picture perfect” while watching from behind the desk in the Keystone office. Mary would also make sure to ask guests where they were from and if it was anywhere north she’s compare it to the temperature of a walk in box and reply “that’s cold country.”
We miss Mom and Nanny tremendously but being at the Keystone and continuing her legacy brings comfort and we know just like always, she’s working right beside us.
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