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Until [], the gay and lesbian events drew as many as 60,000 visitors per year. Later that year, [[Hurricane Ivan]] damaged the businesses and infrastructure on Pensacola Beach, causing a tourism decline in subsequent years, but by [] an estimated 50,000 tourists arrived for Memorial Day Weekend.<ref>"Hotels filling fast for holiday weekend." ''Pensacola News Journal'', May 24, 2007.</ref>
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In 1993, after a [[WEAR-TV]] broadcast touted Our Pride weekends as proof Pensacola was "one of the nation's few gay-friendly communities," [[Pensacola City Council|City Councilman]] [[Doug Proffitt]] wrote a letter (on city stationery) claiming to speak for "all God-loving people" in repudiating the label. The Council did not take an official position, but [[Pensacola Mayor|Mayor]] [[Jerry Maygarden]] said he agreed with Proffitt that "this community does not want to be known as the gay capital of the South," and State Representative [[James Kerrigan]] said Proffitt was "right on target."<ref>"Officials: Don't label city pro-gay." ''Sarasota Herald-Tribune''. May 22, 1993.</ref>
Gay and lesbian patrons of [[Emerald City]] and the annual [[Abracadabra]] party are frequently met with demonstrators from local Christian groups, ranging from peaceful hymn singers to vitriolic open-air preachers to individuals displaying placards with a variety of inflammatory messages. In recent years, other groups have held counter-demonstrations, including Father [[Nathan Monk]], a local Catholic reverend, and his followers, whose placards preach tolerance and acceptance.