Monday, December 28, 2009

Rum punch, egg nog and Boxing Day!

Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast hopes that all of our listeners had a great Christmas Day and are enjoying the holidays to the max. Show hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors, through the magic of radio, spent Christmas morning with their listeners as they celebrated the 50th show. Besides enjoying a little eggnog (with just a hint of rum) and some Christmas cookies, 'Radio Man' and 'History Lady' covered a lot of ground, including their thoughts on what all of the tourism promotional organizations along the Treasure Coast would want to find under the tree this year. Did anyone find a lump of coal in their stocking? Listen to the show to find out.

Have you been a resident of the Treasure Cost long enough to remember the one-of-a-kind Christmas parties Janet Hutchinson threw at the Elliott Museum? Well if you ever attended one, you will remember Ms. Hutchinson's famous Christmas Punch. Robin shared the famous recipe with our listeners and talked about the 'measuring device' Ms. Hutchinson used to ensure proportions were exact. Wonder if any of our listeners have the same device in their kitchens?

In the British Commonwealth, Boxing Day is a celebrated holiday. Most of our listeners have heard of Boxing Day but don't know the origin of the tradition. Gary shared a number of possible origins, but is still wondering how Junkanoo got involved.

Last, but certainly not least, Robin and Gary took a look back at some of the shows and topics covered over the past months. Show listeners are certain to agree that possible tourism topics are indeed endless! If you missed Talkin' Tourism Christmas Day, the show is available here.

Gary, Robin and the entire support crew of Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast wish you and your family a healthy and prosperours New Year.

NOTE:  Talkin' Tourism takes a break this coming week; returning to the air on Friday, January 8, 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Talkin' Tourism's Holiday Wish List? How about an iguana in a Christmas tree?

This week Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast celebrates the BIG 5-0. That’s right folks; this week’s Special Christmas Show marks the 50th edition of Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast.

While you and your loved ones are opening presents, listening to the Christmas music on WPSL 1590 AM and enjoying Christmas morning, Talkin' Tourism hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors will be joining you from the Captain’s Lounge at Harborage Yacht Club. While sipping eggnog (laced with rum??) and munching on Christmas cookies, Gary and Robin will be taking a nostalgic look back on the highlights of the past year for Talkin' Tourism.

Certainly Treasure Coast tourism promotion organizations—Treasure Coast Sports Commission, St. Lucie County Tourism Development Council, Martin County Convention and Visitors Burean and more—all have their “Christmas Wish Lists." Gary and Robin will see what Santa may have left under the tree for them (in a perfect world) and clue you into who has been naughty or nice.

Robin will share some “historical Christmas in Martin County trivia” along with her “things to do, places to go and people to see” segment.

And to wrap it all up into a unforgettable holiday package, Gary and Robin will throw in a little Bahamian flavor (no they will not be drinking Bahama Mama’s) by exploring the beginnings of Boxing Day, which is a tradition in the Bahamas and countries throughout the British Commonwealth, and Junkanoo!

So sit back, relax and enjoy the last show of 2009 this Friday, December 25, at 10 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM or via your computer at

Monday, December 21, 2009

Stu, Carol, Paul, Mary and a dog named Taz

The latest Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast took the show to the man and woman on the “streets” or should we say the “waterways." For the first time since the show's inception, hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors had the opportunity to speak with “Valued Seasonal Boaters" and learn first-hand their perceptions of the Treasure Coast.

Guests Stu and Carol Brewer are repeat visitors to Stuart, enjoying life aboard their 36-foot trawler. The Brewer's are relatively new to the boating lifestyle. During the show, Gary and Robin explore why the Brewers like to winter on the Treasure Coast, how they like life on the water, and how they made the decision to jump in to boating with both feet.

Next up was Paul and Mary Dolan, first-timers from New Market, Maryland. Their story is totally different! Here we have an entire family--mom, dad, four children (ages 17, 13, 12 and 7), and a boat dog, named Taz, on an adventure of a life-time. What possessed this family to purchase a 1977 46’ sailboat and head down the Intracoastal Waterway with dreams of visiting Florida the Islands of the Bahamas? Their story will make you think about what just may be the really important things in life. Are these teenagers missing their social scene? What about school? Is experiential education better than learning in the confines of a four walled classroom? Hear this and more by listening to their story.

Treasure Coast Airlines in up and running. Looking for quick New Year getaway? How about New Year’s Eve in Bimini? Gary and Robin cover this and more island happenings.

Trying to entice your family and friends to head south for the winter? Share the Talkin' Tourism blog link with them and tell them to leave the frigid north behind.

If your holiday plans will keep you away from your radio this week, Gary, Robin, the cast and crew of Harborage Yacht Club & Marina, the Martin County Historical Society, and those in hospitality businesses  on Florida's beautiful Treasure Coast, wish you Happy Holidays!

Miss the (December 18) show? You can listen or download the last Talkin' Tourism show HERE.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Treasure Coast Waterways a Mecca for Seasonal Boaters

Hotels, motels and condominiums are where visitors sleep, that’s a given. Where do our “valued seasonal" and visiting boats sleep? Of course the answer is marinas!

The Treasure Coast, bordering the Intracoastal Waterway on the east, Stuart serving as the east end of the Okeechobee Waterway and the Cross Florida Canal, and the St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Sebastian and Jupiter Inlets all combine to create a boating synergy that is unsurpassed in Florida. There have been assumptions for years that marine and boating played a significant role in our tourism economy, but how much of a role? We know how many hotel, motel and condominium accommodations there are but how many slips are there? Well, a quick tally indicates there are almost as many wet slips as hotel and motel rooms! How long do seasonal boaters stay? Why did they select Stuart and the Treasure Coast for their winter homeport?

This week, Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors invite several “valued seasonal boaters” into the studio who have selected Stuart for the first time, as well as boaters who have returned time and time again, to share their thoughts about Stuart and the Treasure Coast as a boater destination.

This will be particularly interesting in light of the fact that local tourism stakeholders have just concluded a tourism summit identifying Martin County’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Did community and tourism leaders identify the same strengths, weaknesses, and oportunities? Talkin' Tourism always enjoys hearing from our visiting guests to ensure we continue to meet their expectations as a regional destination.

Along with the valued seasonal boaters topic for the week, listeners who tune in will hear the latest updates from the Bahamas, Robin’s “This Week in Martin County History,” to fun activities and events coming up on the Treasure Coast.

Tune in to WPSL 1590 AM or at 10 a.m. today (Friday, 12/18/2009) and learn more about the tourism industry where our only job “is to help visitors have a great time.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Snakes, Piranha and Hemingway show available for download

The December 4 Snakes, Piranha and Hemingway---It's just "Edutainment!" show is now available for download HERE.

Safari's and Airplanes

Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast took a walk on the wild side this week both on the ground and in the air with two great guests. On the ground was Joe O’Bannon, owner/operator of J&R Outfitters located in western Martin County. We have often stated that "Martin County offers a hugely diverse menu of activities," but after you listen to Friday’s show, you will know that that statement is BEYOND true.

Joe took Talkin' Tourism hosts Robin Hicks-Connors and Gary Guertin on safari describing the workings a true game reserve, how they are saving critically endangered species, providing a nature experience that could only be replicated in many instances, by traveling Sub-Sahara Africa. Listeners learned what the differences are between a game farm, a game ranch and a true game reserve. They also learned that J&R Outfitters isn't the only place to hunt in Martin County, and how many State owned hunting areas there are in Martin County.

Big news! Stuart now has a on-demand, scheduled airlift to Walker’s Cay and Marsh Harbour, Abaco. Treasure Coast Airlines owner Danny Krachun’s service is receiving huge interest from Treasure Coast residents and visitors who wish to spend time in the Bahamas. Other points discussed was the issue of filling empty seats on the run back to the Treasure Coast.

The Treasure Coast is definitely on the cutting edge of some great new tourism happenings. Stay tuned to Talkin' Tourism weekly to learn about the lastest tourism news first!

If you missed this show, you can download it here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hunting and Fishing on Florida's Treasure Coast and a 'New' Way to Hit the Bahamas

The Treasure Coast is verifiably diverse in its attractions, offerings and activities to visitors who chose the area as a vacation destination. Most locals and visitors are attracted to the area for our beaches, waterways, small town charm, arts/culture, and more. But there is more to the Treasure Coast than the coast. As we have discussed on prior shows, the western portions of Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie counties offer vistas, activities and experiences that differ dramatically from a beach experience.

In Florida, and many other states, hunting and fishing represent millions in tourism dollars. A few hunting and fishing factoids for you to digest:

•  Sportsmen support more jobs than Disney World (85,000 vs. 61,000)
•  There are 214,000 resident hunters in Florida
•  Florida sportsmen spend $4.8 billion annually.
•  Florida ranks number two in the nation in total economic impact from hunting and fishing. Texas is number one in the nation.

J&R Outfitters, the largest preserve east of the Mississippi River, is located in Martin County. Guest Joe O’Bannon will describe the fascinating and unique hunting opportunities to be experienced at this hunting lodge. But it is more than just hunting. The 3,000-acre preserve is home to dozens of Florida native species. Some of the topics we'll explore with Jim this week is how hunting at J&R Outfitter’s compares with hunting in Africa. Two more factoids:  Mr. O’Bannon is one of the few hunters licensed in several African countries. And, swamp buggy photo safaris are one of the adventures offered by J&R Outfitters.

Are the Bahamas getting closer? It certainly seems so to many Treasure Coast residents with the announcement this week by Treasure Coast Airlines beginning service to the Bahamas from Witham Field in Stuart and from St. Lucie County International Airport, Ft. Pierce. Guest Danny Krachun will be a guest in the studio this Friday to provide details on this much needed airlift to the Bahamas. Some of the questions Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast plans to explore is what destinations will be serviced and will Bahamians utilize this service to come to the Treasure Coast? Talkin' Tourism hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connor predict the new service will be a HUGE success.

Tune in this Friday, December 11, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. by radio (WPSL 1590 AM) or computer ( 'See' you then!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snakes, Piranha and Hemingway---It's just "Edutainment!"

Amazing, unbelievable, outrageous! These are just some of the words that come to mind when Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast show guest Dr. Doug Noble took us on our tour of the "Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes and Other Riches" exhibit, now on exhibit at the Florida Musuem of Natural History.

Can you believe a snake vertebrae fossils the size a grapefruit? How big would the snake have been? Go swimming in a lake with Piranha? Dr. Noble did and lived to tell about it.

These are just a small tease of what the December 4 Talkin' Tourism show was all about. The Florida Museum of Natural History is definitely a must see, especially for Florida resident's.

Today, museums truly specialize in “edutainment." What is “edutainment?" Co-host Robin Hicks-Connors calls it smart fun. If you listened to the show or if you download it for listening, you will be much more hip to the wonders of the Amazon River, one of our planet’s greatest resources. Gainsville, Florida has a lot more to brag about than just football!

Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin also reported on the Finest Kind Quickie tournament, including who won and how much money they won, as well as the bite prediction for the Pirates Cove Sailfish Classic. According to Gary, the early prediction calls for some great sailfishing action.

Surprise guest Danielle Dunfee, Sales and Event Manager for Bimini Bay Resort and Marina, dropped in and gave a few highlights on what's happening on Bimini. Known primarily for sportfishing and also one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorites, Bimini will be the site of a Talkin' Tourism live remote after the first of the year. Talkin' Tourism hosts will explore and report on the diving and other fun activities found on this Bahamian island. Details to come.

Special thanks are in order to Kelly Donovan, Communications Specialist for the Florida Museum of Natural History, for arranging Dr. Noble’s visit, Ed Griffith, General Manager of the Courtyard Hutchinson Oceanside/Jensen Beach for providing Dr. Nobles accommodations, and the leadership of the Elliott Museum, Florida Oceanographic Society, Children’s Museum and the Maritime and Classic Boat Museum for arranging site visits for Dr. Noble during his stay on the Treasure Coast.

If you missed the show, you can listen to it or download it HERE.
See you next week!

Below, photo slideshow from Dr. Nobles Martin County Trip.

PHOTO:  Dr. Noble holding a snake vertebrae fossil the size a grapefruit.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Off to the Amazon this week!

This week Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast takes a walk on the WILD SIDE as we take a tour of the Amazon River, the most biologically diverse river in the world. Listeners will be introduced to amazing creatures includin notorious piranhas, enormous anacondas, beautiful stingrays, and mysterious pink dolphins.

Doug Noble, PH.D., Assistant Director of Exhibits, Public Programs and Assistant in Museum Administration at the Florida Museum of Natural History, is this week's scheduled guest (and tour guide). Dr. Noble will describe in full detail the museum’s current exhibit: “Amazon Voyage; Vicious Fishes and Other Riches.”

In addition to his Talkin’ Tourism appearance this Friday, Dr. Noble is in town to visit museum and cultural arts facilities in Martin County.

Co-host Robin Hicks-Connors (aka History Lady) wants listeners to know the Florida Museum of Natural History will be loaning artifacts—one, possibly two dugout canoes—to exhibit in the new Elliott Museum. Hopefully Dr. Noble's Martin County fieldtrip will be the beginning of a long collaborate cultural relationship between the Treasure Coast and the Florida Museum of Natural History.

The Florida Museum of Natural History, chartered in 1917 and located at the University of Florida, is Florida’s state museum of natural history, dedicated to understanding, preserving and interpreting biological diversity and cultural heritage. The museum has the largest natural history collection in the Southeast, and is one of the nation’s top ten natural history collections.

If you're headed north in the next month, don't miss “Amazon Voyage; Vicious Fishes and Other Riches.” The exhibit is on display at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville until January 17, 2010.

Also on Friday, get the latest on the sailfish tournament season. Who won the Finest Kind Quickie? How many boats are fishing the Pirates Cove Sailfish Classic? And much more this week on Talkin Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast. There may even be two special guests direct from the Amazon in the studio! Curious? Tune in this Friday, December 4 at 10 a.m. to find out who or what? Find us on your radio dial at WPSL 1590 AM or on your computer at

Monday, November 30, 2009

Is Stuart the "Sailfish Capital of the World?" Just ask Captain Scott Fawcett of the Boneshaker.

Are we or are we not the “Sailfish Capital of the World”? After today’s show there should be no doubt.

Captain Scott Fawcett, captain of the local charter boat Boneshaker, left no doubt that on any given day Stuart and the Treasure Coast can be the best of the best.  Example, on the opening day of the 1997 Light Tackle Tournament, 38 boats released 382 sails. The week finished with a total of 538 releases. And, last year, 17 boats fishing the Pirates Cove Sailfish Classic put 275 releases on the board in only 3 days of fishing. Now that’s SAILFISHING!

Captain Scott threw out some numbers to substantiate the claim that tournament fishing impacts our local tourism economy. If you missed his run down, download today's show--Let the (Sailfish) games being--listen, and do the math. You'll be blown away!

Captain Scott also shared the primary reason he loves the business of being a charter boat captain helping guests pursue the “Adventure of a Lifetime." His story would make a great plot for a movie.

Unfortunately, technical problems interfered with regular co-host Robin Hicks-Connors planned “Black Friday” in the field report. Talkin' Tourism's guest co-host Ed Griffith suggested it's hard work to hold a cell phone and dozens of shopping bags. He and Talkin' Toursim host Gary Guertin also joked around about Robin being at the Lakeland Mall and doing her best to not use her shopping cart as a weapon. Next show, expect a full report from Robin.

For those who have sent in Treasure Coast vacation photos for this month’s Getaway Giveaway promotion, thank you! If you haven't sent one in yet, what are you waiting for?? The winner of this tourism photo contents receives a great hotel package compliments of Caribbean Shores Resort in beautiful Jensen Beach!

Tune in next week (Friday, December 1 at 10 a.m.) for more interesting tourism talk!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let the (Sailfish) games begin!

This weekend marks the beginning of the legendary sailfish tournament season on the Treasure Coast. As most of us know, Stuart has long had the moniker of 'Sailfish Capital of the World' and for good reason. Historically, sportfishing has long been a tourism draw for the Treasure Coast region. How long? This year marks the 56th annual Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle Tournament! Over five decades of the best captains and anglers in the world coming to Stuart to fish this prestigious event. What other tournaments are on the horizon? Believe it or not, between the Treasure Coast and the Palm Beaches, there are 12 sailfish tournaments from December 1 through January 23.

Scott Fawcett, captain of the charter boat Boneshaker, a top placing boat for many years, joins host Gary Guertin and guest co-host Ed Griffith, who is the general manager of the Courtyard Hutchinson Island Oceanside/Jensen Beach, in the Captain's Lounge of Harborage Yacht Club for an exciting update on this season’s tournaments. Captain Scott has lived in Stuart since 1983. He has fished professionally off the Treasure Coast, Bahamas and Mexico since 1991. And, he has logged over 2,000 days in local waters--he knows the local fishing spots well!

Where’s co-host Robin Hicks-Connors this week? Out in the field, or mall that is. Robin will be connecting with the show “on location somewhere out there” providing listeners with a live call in report on BLACK FRIDAY. Will she clue us in on best practices for getting the best shopping deals?
As always the show will be entertaining, informative and most importantly FUN. See you on Friday!
PHOTO CREDIT:  Boneshaker Charters.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

From Chambers of Commerce to Cane Garden Bay


Talkin' Tourism's "Radio Man" and "History Lady" enjoyed another information filled Friday morning in the Captain's Lounge at Harborage Yacht Club on a beautiful November day. Joe Catrambone, president and CEO of the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce, was this week's guest.

Historically, Martin County’s Chambers of Commerce (all five of them) had been the primary organizations that promoted Martin County as a visitor destination. The effort was “under-funded” due to the fact that tourism promotion is not typically a Chamber’s primary function unless it is under contract by a Tourist Development Council (TDC) as is the case with Indian River County. Now that Martin County’s destination promotion entity is officially the Martin County Convention and Visitors bureau (formed in 2002), Gary and Robin explored with Joe what role will/can the Chambers of Commerce play in this important effort.

The rest of the show was packed with interesting and fun facts, information and laughs, including rumors from afar. Is Quito Rhymer selling his famed Quito’s Gazebo in Cane Garden Bay? The British Virgin Island's table setting competition and the reason for it was also discussed.

Robin's This Week in Martin County History segment continues to educate listeners on the early pioneer days of Martin County. If you missed it, download the show HERE.

Keep sending in your Treasure Coast vacation photos to be eligible to win this month’s Getaway Giveaway compliments of Caribbean Shores Resort in quaint Jensen Beach, Florida. Send your photos to

Next week's show on Black Friday will bring a few special "in-the-field" reports from shopper Robin. Tune in for the fun on Friday at 10 a.m..

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What role do Chambers of Commerces play in tourism?

In Martin County there are five Chambers of Commerce. Over the years, each one primarily focused on the businesses within their community and neighborhood such as Hobe Sound, Jensen Beach, Palm City, and Indiantown. Additionally, the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce traditionally embraced the entire county. Before the establishment of the Martin County Tourist Development Council (TDC), tourism and destination marketing was essentially done by local chambers. In those years, the tourism effort was essentially “under-funded” and the effort was implemented by spirited and committed volunteers.

Now that there is a TDC, as well as a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), do chambers still have a role in tourism? If so, is there a way for the chambers to work tegether in a coordinated manner that keeps tourism branding consistent? Does tourism promotion benefit chamber members? If so, to what degree?

Joseph Catrambone, president of the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce, is in the studio tomorrow (Friday, November 20) to give his insights from his organization's perspective.

What else may be in store for listeners? How about a table setting competition established in 1998 that still exists to train youth in the basics of the hospitality industry? And, a VNA Air Show event wrap.

If you're in town for the weekend, don't forget to check out the FREE MusicFest in Downtown Stuart tomorrow evening in Gazebo Park from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Jukebox Band headlines the entertainment this month.

Last, don’t forget to send in your “Treasure Coast Vacation” photos to qualify for this month's Getaway Giveaway, compliments of Caribbean Shores Hotel and Resort.

Join us tomorrow at 10 a.m. for another hour of Talkin' Tourism on the Treasure Coast. Tune your radio dial to WPSL 1590 AM or listen to the show live on your computer at!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Practice Safe Travel and Watch those Black Cats


Travel safety is a concern shared by most travelers. An unfortunate “happening” can ruin what should have been a great vacation. It doesn’t have to be a major event. Something as simple as losing your travel documents or returning your room key card can turn into a real hassle.

Laura Passanesi, community programs practitioner and volunteer coordinator for the Martin County Sheriff’s Office discussed on our last show basic but important concepts to help ensure a safe(er) travel experience. As a matter of fact, your personal safety plan starts right at home!

Talkin Tourism’s monthly Getaway Giveaway Promotion is off to a great start. In the studio today was Fred Rutzke, owner of the popular Jensen Beach. Florida property, Caribbean Shores Hotel and Resort on the beautiful Indian River Lagoon. Fred provided a great description of his unique property. Listen in and you will certainly want to get in on this opportunity.

Are you superstitious? Talkin' Tourism couldn't let Friday the 13th escape without some references to this celebrated day. Did you know that acorns are supposed to keep lightning away if placed on a window sill? Is it good luck or bad luck if the first butterfly you see in a year is white? More superstition nuggests were shared on the show. If you missed the live broadcast of the show, listen to it or download it HERE.

Thank you for being a fan of Talkin' Tourism. And, please feel free to share the blog link with family and friends around the globe.

PHOTO: This week's guests: Laura Passanesi, Martin County Sheriff's Office and Fred Rutzke Caribbean Shores.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Your passport to safe travel

Literally millions of people travel every single day throughout the United States and the world.

Whether for business or pleasure, people are increasingly becoming more and more comfortable in the role of 'traveler'. Regrettably, from time to time we hear that visitor and travelers fall victim to a crime or other misfortune. By most measure, the Treasure Coast is a safe visitor destination. Being a relatively 'un-urban' destination, the Treasure Coast typically does not see the level of crime that may be found in more urban destinations.

What can you do decrease the possibility that you will be victimized during your travels? Well this week, Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors discuss this important topic. In the studio this week, Laura Passanesi, a community programs practitioner & volunteer coordinator for the Martin County Sheriff's Office, will discuss ways to help minimize the chances of becoming a victim of a crime during travels.

Here are some sample tips:

(1) Don't wear name tags in public.
(2) When traveling by car, back into your parking space to facilitate a quick exit.
(3) Do not flash your passport in public. Discretely show important documents to officials.
(4) If traveling with children, bring along an updated photo of each child in the event you become separated.
(5) In a taxi, sit behind the driver so you can see him but he cannot see you.

In addition to tourist safety tips, Gary and Robin will cover Treasure Coast and State of Florida tourism news, including the position of the Surf Rider Foundation’s position on the possibility of oil drilling off Florida’s coasts.

Friday's (November 12) show promises to be lively and informative. Tune in at 10 a.m. (WPSL 1590 AM on your radio dial or via your computer) and take a one hour 'staycation' with Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Shopping--The Third Activity Tourists Look for When Choosing a Tourism Destination


Shop on the Treasure Coast ‘until you drop' was today’s topic with guests Roberta Murray, the local leasing representative for Simon Property Group responsible for both the Indian River Mall in Vero Beach and the Treasure Coast Square Mall in Jensen Beach, and Stephanie Young, director of marketing for Harbour Bay Plaza located in Sewall’s Point.

With Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin in the "cone of error”, (hurricane talk courtesy of Hurricane Ida), co-host Robin Hicks-Connors clarifies that shopping is the third most popular visitor activity. Every type of shopping experience, from large regional malls to boutique plazas to unique mom-and-pop specialty shops, provides visitors an opportunity to satisfy their need to shop. The economic impact is huge! Besides providing a shopping experience, malls and shopping plazas are an integral part of the Treasure Coast cultural and social experience. Listeners who tuned in to the show know why. They also heard more about some of the great events coming up that occur at area shopping venues.

Gary also touched upon the Sebastian Clambake Festival. Interesting festival facts uncovered included: the festival will go through 3,400 lbs. of clam strips and 400 gallons of clam chowder. If you're interested in the number of fish fillets and more details, download or listen to the show HERE.

Last, Gary and Robin discussed details on the Bahamas International Film Festival. If you missed the show, see the link above to listen to it on your computer.

Coming up this week on Friday, November 13: Safety tips for travelers.

Thanks for tuning in. 'See' you on Friday!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Let's Go Shopping!

Historically, shopping is a very highly rated activity within the tourism industry in terms of what people do on vacation. Despite the challenges of a recuperating economy, shopping is a must.

As stakeholders in the hospitality industry of the Treasure Coast, retailers have much to gain by participating in the promotion and marketing of our Treasure Coast destination. From regional malls to boutique shopping plazas to unique mom and pop shops, the potential appeal of a destination can me measured by the variety of shopping experiences offered.

This week join Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors as they explore Treasure Coast shopping. Roberta Murray, of Treasure Coast Square Mall in Jensen Beach, will share the studio with Stephanie Young, director of marketing for Harbour Bay Plaza located in Sewall’s Point. Are they optimistic about the upcoming season? Are they planning anything special or introducing unique sales promotions for this winter season?

As usual, Gary and Robin will also discuss all things tourism that you need to know. More offshore drilling updates, activities and events you won't want to miss, an update of the Florida/Bahamas Golf Championship, and more are all on this week's show agenda.

Believe it or not, after listening to the show, you will even know how many pounds of clam strips and how many gallons of clam chowder are expected to be consumed at the Sebastian Clambake Festival, which happens this weekend.

Tune in to WPSL 1590 AM or tomorrow at 10 a.m. to hear the show live!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What's Tourism have to do with Bootlegging and Oil Rigs


The Real McCoy Rum Runner Party to celebrate the grand opening of the Maritime and Classic Boat Museum (formally known as the Maritime and Yachting Museum for Florida) spawned a conversation between Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors about the real 'Real McCoy' and his legend on the Treasure Coast as a fisherman and part-time bootlegger/rum runner. There were some amazing and interesting tidbits of info tht can be very useful at a cocktail party this Season.

Anne Schmidt, chairperson for the Real McCoy Rum Runner planning committee and Allison Partin, a committee member specializing in recruiting local restaurants to provide samples of their specialties at events, described what is going to be a great event. The party takes place at Indian Riverside Park on Friday, November 13, begins at 6:30 p.m. and will "last until the rum has run out!" (That's the official wording straight from the postcard invitation!)

After the rum talk, the discussion turned to tourism's impact upon the Treasure Coast community. Host Gary Guertin expressed his opinion on whether the local community truly really appreciates and understands the importance of the tourism industry or not.

A few statewide issues surfaced during the hour. Not pleased that Florida is considering allowing the drilling for oil on the state's west coast? Then you may want to learn about 'Hands Across The Sands,' a grassroots effort fighting the drilling initiative. Next, listeners learned what has 1,094 brand new guest rooms and sits directly in the middle of International Drive in Orlando. If you missed the October 30 show, you can download and listen to it HERE.

Coming up this week, tune in to find out if Francis Langford aka 'History Lady' was a smash at the Meet Me at the USO party in downtown Stuart on Halloween night. Until then, be safe, have fun, and enjoy life and living on Florida’s beautiful Treasure Coast!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Prohibition's "King of Rum Row" - Bill McCoy (The Real McCoy)

Closing out the month of October and the 'slow season,' this Friday, October 30, Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors will talk up The Real McCoy Rum Runner Party (November 13th), an event celebrating the grand opening of the Maritime and Yachting Museum (MYM) of Florida's new galleries at the Francis Langford Pavilion, Indian Riverside Park, Jensen Beach, Florida.

Ann Schmidt, a MYM of Florida board member and event chairperson, along with committee member Allison Partin, will join us in the Talkin' Tourism studio to share party details. The last of the local 'Rum Runner parties Radio Man (aka Gary) remembers were Sunday afternoons on the banks of the Indian River at the infamous Mr. Laff’s of yesteryear. Who knows, History Lady (aka Robin) may just fill us in on all of the great Bill McCoy legends! For more information on The Real McCoy Rumm Runner Party, click on the poster below.

This week, Gary and Robin will also discuss a variety of tourism topics. Time permitting one of those may include a new four state alliance, comprised of North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. The alliance is aimed at preserving and expanding coastal resources—the very resources the four states depend on for business and tourism. Other topics on the agenda: Florida lawmakers review of the $20-million pledged by the state for a animation studio at Tradition; the opening of the world’s largest Doubletree hotel in Orlando; and of course a continuation of the “Drill or Don’t Drill” discussion.

Will Gary survive the Owl's Howl Halloween Gala Ghoula at Harborage Thursday evening? What did he go as? What was the most extreme costume at the masquerade? And, what did the Harborage Yacht Club culinary team come up with for this year's event? To find out, tune in Friday, October 30 (WPSL 1590 AM or at 10 a.m. for another fun-filled show from the Captain’s Lounge at Harborage Yacht Club and Marina!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Oct 23 Show Recap: November full of fall fun on Florida's Treasure Coast!

Nothing to do? Then come to Stuart! Martin County is full of fall fun.

Dan Crow, the air show coordinator for the approaching Visiting Nurses Association Air Show, and Ron Rose, the executive director of the Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce, which produces the Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival, both shared the guest microphone today to talk up their respective events.

Bookending the week of November 6 through the 15, the two festivals combined are expected to draw a total of 100,000 people. How close is that to the entire current population of Martin County? If you missed today's show, you'll be able to answer that question by downloading today's show (show audio will be posted in a day or two).

Ron Rose reminded us Gregory Town, Eleuthera, Bahamas and Jensen Beach are Sister-Cities—both with pineapple histories. Just one more Treasure Coast-Bahamas connection!

For more information on the events, here are links to the respective web sites: or

Happy birthday to who? Co-host Robin 'History Lady' Hicks-Connors took the upper hand as host Gary Guertin became the subject of an interview about 'Radio Man’s' involvement in the Tourism Industry in Martin County. How old is Gary? For that answer, download the show HERE. It's all there!

Last, but not least, there is always Robin's 'This Week in Martin County History' and 'What’s Hot This Weekend'.

It’s all about fun, good times and spreading the word about our fabulous Treasure Coast, Florida, and beyond. Don’t forget to thank a visitor, or valued-seasonal-resident for helping to keep Florida green.

'See' you next week on Friday at 10 a.m. for another show of Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast!

PHOTO: Ron Rose and Gary Guertin check the Bahamas Information Map to view how close the Treasure Coast is to the island of Eleuthera.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pineapples and Airplanes

'Season' is just around the corner. What does that mean? It means that the calendar of great things to do kicks into high gear.

Two great events that have become hallmarks on the Treasure Coast are the Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival and the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) Air Show. Both family-friendly events are multi-day affairs and offer diverse experiences.

The Pineapple Festival celebrates Jensen Beach’s Sister-City relationship with Gregory Town, Eleuthera. Did you know that Gregory Town has been growing pineapples on the islands rocky soil since the early 1800’s? How did this relationship develop? Ron Rose, the executive director of the Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce, will provide the details.

Up, up and away…no, not in my beautiful balloon, but in just about any type of aircraft you can imagine. The VNA Air Show 2009 is coming to an airport near you—Witham Field that is—on November 14 and 15. This event is attend by thousands each year and thrills crowds of all ages. Dan Crow, Community Liaison for the Visiting Nurses Association of Florida and coordinator of the air show, will also be in the studio to give an in-depth view of what visitors can expect at this year's event.

Tune in tomorrow, October 23 (Friday) at 10 a.m. (WPSL 1590 AM or to find out if anything is new on the 'To Drill or not To Drill' issue, and so much more. 'See' you tomorrow!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oct 16 Wrap: To drill or not to drill? Not a simple question.

Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast cranked it up a notch with this week's guest, State Representative William Snyder (District 82), who was on hand to discuss the topic of offshore drilling.

Points covered included the economic benefits offshore drilling may provide to help Florida relieve its current $2.4 billion budget deficit, environmental concerns and safeguards, and how exploration and drilling technology has improved since the ban on offshore drilling went into effect here in Florida in 1990.

Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors also discussed St. Lucie County's progress in establishng tourism and sporting endeavors with Grand Bahama Island. And, they touched upon the two-month new Coastal Angler Magazine Flahama issue that's being well-received both in Florida and the Bahamas.

Robin issued the Getaway Giveaway question of the week, which is: Who is Florida's featured artist for Historic Preservation Month? First one to send the correct answer to wins a Harborage Yacht Club & Marina 3-day, 2-night boaters getaway.

Talkin' Tourism is pleased to serve as a platform for providing information on this lively, provocative and potentially emotional issue. Talkin' Tourism will continue to keep listeners informed through various guests in the future. If you wish to appear as a guest on the show to provide information, perspective or a point of view on this topic, please contact Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast at The only criteria for being granted an appearance on the show regarding this issue is that you or the organization you represent be engaged in the tourism industry.

Special thanks to Representative William Snyder for taking time out of his busy schedule to appear on the show.

If you missed the show, you can download it or listen to it HERE.

Guests and subject line-up for this week's show (Friday at 10 a.m.) to be posted later this week.

CORRECTION: Listeners, please note that the reference to Enid Atwater as the wife of Senate President Jeff Atwater was certainly incorrect. Ms. Enid Atwater is Jeff Atwater’s sister.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Florida Exchanging Suntan Oil for Crude Oil?

In the final weeks of the spring legislative session, a bill was introduced to give the Florida Cabinet the power to grant oil and gas drilling leases in state waters. The proposal has the backing of the oil industry, as well as key business lobbyists. The Florida Senate has not yet voted on the bill approved by the Floria House. Proponents plan to file a similar proposal again, though the details are not yet set. Governor Charlie Crist has said he thinks the proposal is worth considering as early as this year during the special session; however, legislative leaders say it’s more likely to be considered next year in the 2010 regular session.

It's no surprise that environmental groups, as well as some tourism-industry associations, are opposed to offshore drilling. They are concerned drilling may negatively impact state beaches and natural resources.

Listeners, this is a topic that Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast wants you to know about. Both the pros and cons of this topic needs public thought and comment. To quote Bob Gabordi, executive editor of the Tallahassee Democrat ( "On an issue this important, with implications this far reaching, Floridians deserve the best thinking and information. Our concern is to make the process as fair as possible so that the best ideas, not the best politics, win the day.”

This week, Talkin' Tourism is honored to have the Honorable William “Bill" B. Snyder, Florida House of Representatives, District 82, in the studio to help educate the listening audience on this issue. Not only is this a Florida issue, it's an issue of global impact to the energy industry, as well as the tourism industry.

Get informed! Tune in Friday (October 16) to WPSL 1590 a.m. or to (to listen to the show's livestream via computer) at 10 a.m. to learn more about this issue and its possible implications.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Muck Monsters, Airlifts, David & Goliath

After today’s show, it appears that David and Goliath will be working together to collaborate on opportunities and programs that will be beneficial to the region. Palm Beach County Tourism Development Council Executive Director Roger Amidon was very specific that Palm Beach County has and will continue to demonstrate their commitment to collaboration. Sharon Glenn, Martin County's Tourism Development Council Chairman who shared the guest spotlight today, concurred the time is right for Palm Beach and Martin counties to take advantage of potential opportunities.

What did we cover on the show? Here are some of the highlights: Palm Beach County wants to increase year-round airlifts into Palm Beach International Airport and will be targeting two specific markets. The Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau has a five year contract as the destination marketing arm for the county. How does that compare to the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau? Is there really a Muck Monster? Listen or download the show HERE.

Congratulations to Pamela McCarthy, employed by the legendary boat building company Whiticar Boatworks of Stuart, Florida, the winner of last week’s Getaway Giveaway, which was a Harborage Yacht Club and Marina package that included two-nights dockage and a $100 certificate for dinner. Last week's question was: What special collection is housed at the Elliott Museum on Hutchinson Island, Stuart, Florida that is second only to the collection in Cooperstown, NY? The answer? The second largest collection of autographed baseball memorabilia.

This week's Getaway Giveaway question is: What new Palm Beach County attraction that was never in the county’s marketing plan has received national attention? E-mail your answer to

Special thanks to Best Western, Stuart, Florida for providing this week’s Getaway Giveaway package.

Hope to see you here next week, same time (10 a.m.), same station (WPSL 1590 AM or!

PHOTO: Roger Amidon, executive director of the Palm Beach County Tourism Development Council.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

FREE Bahamas Tournament

Bahamas Tournament
November 7-8, 2009
FREE Entry

Special airfare, hotel and boat rentals

Optional Captains meeting on Thursday, November 5 at Harborage Yacht Club & Marina, Stuart, FL

Boat caravan leaving Harborage Yacht Club & Marina on Friday, November 6 at 7 a.m.

Caravan retuning November 9 by 2 p.m.

More details? Contact

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Palm Beach and Martin Counties—Future Tourism Partners?

This week Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast goes 'right to the top.' How? By having the executive director of the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council and the chairman of the Martin County Tourist Development Council both in the studio at the same time!

The tourism and hospitality industry has long been recognized as a very important element in Palm Beach County's economic mix. With world class assets, an international airport, great small towns and downtowns, and spectacular diving and fishing, as well as major cultural attractions, Palm Beach County has been a visitor magnet for decades. Considering the opening of Henry Morrison Flagler's Royal Poinciana Hotel in 1894 followed by his Palm Beach Inn in 1896, tourism industry roots are very deep in Palm Beach County

Roger Amidon has recently been hired as the new executive director of the Palm Beach County Tourism Development Council (TDC). Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors will query Roger on his five-and-ten year tourism forecast, as well as how the TDC and its various partners will continue to educate residents on the importance of a strong tourism related economy.

Sharon Glenn, the resort manager at Plantation Beach Club at Indian River Plantation on our very own Hutchinson Island, is the current chairman of the Martin County Tourist Development Council (MCTDC). The MCTDC is charged with overseeing the overall tourism plan for Martin County. This responsibility includes annual review of the bed tax ordinance and determines where and how the bed tax funds collected will be dispersed.

In the spirit of collaboration and 'coope-tition' (yes folks, a Robin-ism), this week's show will also explore if there are opportunities for a 'Goliath,' like Palm Beach County, and a 'David,' like Martin County, to collaborate. And, whether visitors to both counties really care about political boundaries or not?

Finally, another Getaway Giveway will be up for grabs. Listen closely for the Question of the Week. The first correct e-mail received at will be a winner!

'See' you on Friday (Oct 9) on WPSL 1590 AM or at 10 a.m.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Oct 2 show wrap: Nautical Treasures and Pleasures and 'The Creators Game'

The October 2 show topics were as diverse as the tourism industry itself, but as always, Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and c0-host Robin Hicks-Connors continued to connected the tourism dots.

First up was Julie Lentine of Lentine Marine in Stuart, Florida. Julie explained how she and her husband Lou, a highly respected boat dealer, adjusted their business model to successfully navigate today’s choppy economy. The 4th Nautical Flea Market & Boat Show, produced by Lentine Marine, is evidence that 'local' events and activities can be visitor magnets. According to Julie, last year's Nautical Flea Market and Boat Show attracted 4,000 people, coming from as far away as Tallahassee and Miami. Based upon comments heard on Saturday, October 4, this year's show was a smashing success.

Next up was Ted Brown, volunteer board member of the newly formed Friends of High School Lacrosse of Martin County. Now that a lacrosse club has been officially sanctioned by the Martin County School District, Martin County will have the opportunity to host lacrosse tournaments, which attract as many as 30 to 40 teams from outside of the Treasure Coast. This brings an old industry phrase to mind—heads in beds! If you listened to the show live, you learned more about the sport. If you didn't, listen in to the archived show so that you can answer this question: Is lacrosse the fastest growing team sport in the country? The answer might surprise you. And, here's an interesting Lacrosse tidbit from Wikipedia:

Early lacrosse was characterized by deep spiritual involvement,befitting the spirit of combat in which it was undertaken. Those who took part did so in the role of warriors, with the goal of bringing glory and honor to themselves and their tribes.The game was said to be played "for the Creator" or was referred to as "The Creator's Game".

The second half of the show focused on the potential for Stuart to become a homeport for large private yacht charter operators. No, not a second Ft. Lauderdale, just a low key, slower paced beautiful area for owners of large yacht to call home. Paula Wills, owner of Beyond the Sea Yacht Charters has relocated to Stuart from Ft. Lauderdale and is cooking up some great opportunities for the local marine community.

Do you have to be Bill Gates to charter your own private yacht for a fabulous vacation? No you don't. Private yacht charters can be as cost effective as taking a regular cruise. Is it as cost effective as staying at a 5-star Caribbean resort? That answer might surprise you. Download the show and hear Paula’s enthusiasm as she describes the potential for Stuart to become a quieter mecca for the private charter industry.

Congratulations to Ben Martin of Satellite Beach, Florida for being the first to correctly respond to last week’s Talkin' Tourism Question of the Week. Indeed October was designated Historic Preservation Month by the Martin County Board of County Commissioners.

This week’s Getaway Giveaway up for grabs is a three-day, two-night stay at Harborage Yacht Club with complimentary dockage for a vessel of any size, plus a certificate for $100.00 in food and beverage.

This week's Getaway Giveaway question: The Elliott Museum in Stuart, Florida has the second largest collection of what item to be found outside of Cooperstown, NY?

Listen to the show (download HERE) to learn the answer. The first correct answer e-mailed to, wins the Getaway Giveaway to Harborage Yacht Club & Marina.

This Friday, tune your dial to WPSL 1590 AM at 10 a.m. for another guest- and fact-filled Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This Week: Big Yachts, Small Yachts and Lacrosse

The tourism/hospitality industry is broad, diverse and touches all segments of our community. This week’s show is testimony to that fact.

This week, meet Paula Wills, owner of Beyond the Sea. Inc. Recently relocated from Ft. Lauderdale, Paula plans to base her long-standing private yacht charter business in beautiful and slower paced Stuart, Florida.

Whether your pleasure is a 60 foot yacht for a weekend excursion to the Bahamas or a 300 footer for an extended stay in Antigua, Paula is your source.

During this week's show, we'll discuss whether some of Paula’s yacht clients will be coming to Stuart and if yes, where will they dock. What economic impact this might have upon the Treasure Coast. For those who might want to mix a land stay in a private villa with a yachting vacation, no problem! Beyond the Sea Yacht Charters also represents some of the most luxurious private villas throughout the world.

Next up--sports tourism, which is also an integral part of the overall tourism picture. Professional sports obviously is the big player, but what about local high school sports? Ted Brown, a regional vice president at Bank of America/US and board member of the Friends of High School Lacrosse for Martin County, will be in the studio to share how our high school's new lacrosse club might impact sports tourism in our region. Did you know that lacrosse is the fastest growing team sport in the country? That’s right! Participation in lacrosse has increased over 500% since 1999.

Also onboard this week is Julie Lentine of Lentine Marine. Although the current economy has impacted the marine industry, learn how this successful business changed its business model to adapt to the times and help keep boating affordable.

Another great hotel Getaway Giveaway is up for grabs. In addition, the winner of last week's Ramada package will be announced.

Tune your radio dial on Friday (October 2) to WPSL 1590 AM at 10 a.m.. If you're out of broadcast range, listen to us live via your computer at 'See' you on Friday!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Historic Preservation and Bahamian Connection Celebrations

The show that last week was too big for just one station grew again this week as co-host Robin Hicks-Connors was seated at her own desk and computer. Between show notes, broadcast equipment, and show beverages, the set needed a re-design. The new arrangement worked well. Robin has definitely earned her 'headset' as a great show co-host.

As expected, guest Linda Prange, Martin County Historic Preservation board chairman, filled the airwaves with all of the great activities that will be taking place during the month of October, which has been designated Historic Preservation Month for the second year. What does a scavenger hunt and historic preservation have in common? Who is behind this activity and how can you be involved? What home can you visit that is currently undergoing preservation? Learn this and more by listing to this past Friday’s show.

In the mood for the best Bahamian cooking this side of Abaco and lots of island fun and camaraderie? Well the New Monrovia Development Corp. in cooperation with many persons of Bahamian ancestry, which live in our community, are putting on a great party just for you. On the show Cheryl Longoria and Gloria McHardy shared with listeners many very interesting tidbits about the development of the upcoming Bahamian Connection Festival, which started 12 years ago, and how the Treasure Coast is joined at the hip with our friends and island neighbors in the Bahamas. You will even learn what business tycoon, who had a major impact on the future of Florida’s East Coast, played a roll in making this Bahamas/Florida connection!

Thanks to all that listened this week live on their radio or via the live stream on their computer. For those of you just getting the opportunity to listen to the show, thanks for being a fan.
Listen next week and find out who may have been the winner of a great weekend Giveaway Getaway, compliments of Ramada Stuart Hotel by being the first to correctly answer this week’s Question of the Week, which was: What has Martin County designated the month of October as? First correct answer e-mailed to gets the giveaway!

Download the show HERE, and be sure to listen in this Friday at 10 a.m. for another fun- and fact-filled Talkin Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Junkanoo, History Preservation and More...

Another great show is in store for this week, along with another accommodations Getaway Giveaway for the first correct answer to the “Question of the Week."

This week’s giveawy, compliments of Ramada Stuart Hotel, is a weekend stay for two in the property's luxurious Jacuzzi Suite, with champagne and strawberries upon arrival! Sales manager Nadege Bernadin will make a guest appearance on the show to briefly profile the amenities offered by this longstanding Stuart property.

Continuing to celebrate the Treasure Coast’s connection with the Islands of the Bahamas, Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors are pleased to welcome Gloria McHardy, a founder of the Bahamian Connection Festival that takes place next weekend October 2-3. Also joining Glorida, will be Cheryl Longoria, who is serving on this year’s organizing committee. If you're a fan of the islands and the Caribbean, or if you just enjoy the FLAHAMA state of mind, this is an event you won’t want to miss. Once you experience true junkanoo music, you will not be able to stop tapping your toes. Also, some of the best Bahamian food will be available.

October is History Preservation Month in Martin County. With history and charm raking as number one in the list of the area's top five strengths, according to attendees at the recent Martin County Tourism Summit, Talkin Tourism would be remiss in not having this be a key topic this week. Joining us in the studio will be Linda Prange.

Linda was appointed to the Martin County Preservation Board four years ago. She is now serving as board chairman and has worked with other board members to plan an educational, fun-filled and exciting second annual Historic Preservation Month.

What great events are in store for locals and visitors? Tune in this week (Friday, September 25) and listen closely. You just could be the winner of this week’s Getaway Giveaway!

You'll find Talkin' Tourism on your radio dial Friday, September 25, 10 a.m., at 1450 AM, or listen to the show LIVE via your computer by going to

Courtyard by Marriott-Stuart Getaway Winner

The winner of the Hotel/Motel Association's first Getaway Giveaway, which was a 2-night/3-day package from the Courtyard by Marriott-Stuart, was Phil Lennan of Jensen Beach, Florida.

The question posed last week was:
Based on the input from Martin County tourism industry stakeholders at the first meeting of the Tourism Summit, what are the top five Martin County Tourism strengths?

Phil's correct answer was: (1) History/Charm; (2) Beaches/Waterways; (3) Ecotourism/Green spaces; (4) Downtowns; and (5) Sports (golf, equestrian, fishing etc.

Congratulations Phil Lennan! And a big thank you to Courtyard by Marriott-Stuart for donating the package.

Tune in tomorrow for a new chance to win this week's Getaway Giveaway.

To learn more about the Courtyard by Marriott-Stuart, visit

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Weather on your mind?

Then check out conditions in Florida, the Bahamas or elsewhere on WPBF's Interactive weather, now sponsored by Harborage Yacht Club & Marina.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Martin County strengths, island properties and getaway giveaways

Another successful LIVE remote from beautiful Hutchison Island, with special thanks to guest Sharon Laing and the staff of Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and Marina for providing the venue for today’s show.

A 16 year veteran of the property, Sharon gave listeners a great overview of the resort and its amenities. In addition to visitors from around the globe, Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and Marina has tremendous appeal for locals as well, whether it is a 'stay-cation', quiet dinner, or cocktails around the pool. Martin County is fortunate to have such a wonderful beach front property.

The first ever on-air accommodations package giveaway occurred this week, thanks to the participating properties of the Martin County Hotel/Motel Association. This week’s package was compliments of the Courtyard by Marriott–Stuart.

This week’s question was:

Based on the input from Martin County tourism industry stakeholders at the first meeting of the Tourism Summit, what are the top five Martin County Tourism strengths?

If you were listening, the answer should have been easy. Lot of hints were given and the answers were repeated several times. Good luck! Remember, the first correct answer e-mailed to is the winner, which will be announced on next week’s show.

Thanks to Greg and Carol Wyatt, Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast had an extended show. During the additional 30-minutes, Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors shared information on the businesses being recognized by the Martin County Business Development Board at their annual Business Appreciation Luncheon. You will be truly amazed at the great businesses represented.

What else will you learn when you listen to the show: what’s news in the Bahamas, events and activities on the horizon for locals and visitors, and what happened This Week in Martin County History. Download it HERE.

'See' you next week!

Friday, September 18, 2009


For our web audience, we just learned the extended segment of Talkin' Tourism airing from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on WSTU 1450, will not be available via the web. Our apologies!

We hope the full 1 hour and 30 minute audio of today's show will be available for download or listening via your computer by Monday (September 21).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This week: Extended remote from Hutchinson Island Resort

Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast is back on the road again and this week's show will air live from the Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and Marina.

Why the Hutchinson Island Marriott? Well, the property is hosting the Martin County Business Development Board’s Annual Industry Appreciation Awards and show host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors plan to showcase the resort property, as well as the guests who will be attending the luncheon awards ceremony.

The 'extended' in this week's title has a bigger meaning. Talkin' Tourism (at least this week's show) is too big for just one station! The first hour of the show with air on WPSL 1590 AM as usual, and an additional thirty minutes will air on WSTU 1450 AM. So, this week's live remote is a total of one hour and thirty minutes, as long as you move your radio dial.

Sharon Laing, sales manager at the Hutchinson Island Marriott, will showcase all that Martin County’s premier waterfront resort and marina has to offer both locals and out of town visitors. What else is in store? How about the results of the first meeting of the Martin County Tourism Summit. You'll learn what tourism stakeholders have identified as Martin County’s top five strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

The show would not be complete with a Bahamas update, Robin’s Top Picks and This Week in Martin County History.

Now, even BIGGER news! Talkin' Tourism is thrilled to welcome the Martin County Hotel/Motel Association to the show. Beginning this week, a special 'getaway package,' which will be provided by one of the members of the Martin County Hotel/Motel Association, will be awarded on every show!

How do you win? It’s easy! At the end of every show, host Gary or co-host Robin will ask a question. The answer will have been given during the show. For example, during the show, Robin shares several events that happen during her This Week In Martin County History. At the end of the show she might ask the question, “This week in Martin County history, in what year did the Jensen Beach Causeway open?" If you know the answer, or want to guess, simply email your answer to The first correct answer received via e-mail will win that week's 'getaway package.'

This week's package is compliments of Courtyard by Marriott-Stuart. The winner will receive a three-day/two-night stay, including breakfast and dinner, with cocktails, for two.

Tune in tomorrow for some great conversation and the chance to win a fabulous local getaway! From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., the show will broadcast on WPSL 1590 AM (or; from 11 a.m. to 11:30, it'll broadcast on WSTU 1450 AM (or

To learn more about the Courtyard by Marriott-Stuart, visit

Island Friend Visits Treasure Coast

Saturday, September 12, Keith Cooper, sales and marketing director at UNEXSO on Grand Bahama Island, spent the day on the Treasure Coast visiting the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center.

Hosted by Florida Oceanographic Society's (FOS) executive director Mark Perry, Keith received a 'behind the scenes' tour of the unique eco-education facility, one of Martin County’s most popular attractions.

The listening audience and the Talkin' Tourism team, met Keith on the June 26 show, which was broadcast from Grand Bahama. During that show, Keith talked about his vision of expanding eco-tourism and eco-education for residents and visitors to the Island. The purpose of his visit to the Treasure Coast this past weekend was to see a world-class model of what can be done to protect the island’s fragile coastal environment, and also foster stewardship of the Islands of the Bahamas precious ocean and coastal resources.

A bonus of the trip was to view first-hand the aquaculture program in place at FOS. One vision Keith has for his island and country is to develop an aquaculture program that focuses on the farming of conch, a staple of the Bahamian diet and a real treat for visitors, in order to preserve existing conch stocks for future generations.

Keith also brought along his mom, Cynthia, who is no stranger to the Treasure Coast. Cynthia is the founder of Sisters in the Pot, an very popular caterer of outstanding Bahamian cuisine. Sisters in the Pot can be found at many South Florida events and festivals, as well as at the Stuart Green Market every Sunday.

Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast is extremely pleased to have assisted in once again 'connecting the dots' as we continue to explore the Treasure Coast’s longstanding and ongoing relationship with the Islands of the Bahamas.

NOTE: Cynthia, the conch salad and fritters were wonderful! Thanks!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Water Connections

If you believe water 'connects' people and places versus 'divides,' then today’s show is just for you.

Speaking of places, we learned today that golf tourism is the new hot market for the Islands of the Bahamas and about the new Florida Bahamas Golf Challenge currently in the planning stages. Island friend and Bahamas Tourist Office general manager Earl Miller gave more highlights on the challenge, what his country's goverment is doing doing about the current over 35 foot/under 35 foot boat entry fees, what new marinas have opened, and which marina's have improved or added more slips to their facilities.

With the winter season just around the corner, Treasure Coast marinas are looking forward to welcoming back our valued seasonal boaters. The approaching second annual Cruiser Expo, part of the Stuart Boat Show produced by Allsports Productions, is an event that no boater, or water lover, should miss. The three-day event provides networking opportunities and scores of informative seminars. Proper dingy dock etiquette? What's that? How many transient vessels do you think traverse and visit Treasure Coast waters each winter? Listen to this week's show. The abswer to the questions just might surprise you.

As always, thanks for visiting the blog and listening to this week’s show. If you know a friend or a family member who is interested in tourism and events on the Treasure Coast, share the Talkin' Tourism show link with them. Help us spread the message that tourism helps keep Florida green.

The audio for this week's show can be listened to HERE. 'See' you next week!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This Week: Golfing the Islands of the Bahamas, Cruiser Expo, and Valued Seasonal Boaters

It’s hard to believe but final planning is underway for the 36th Annual Stuart Boat Show, the largest in-water boat show from West Palm Beach, Florida to Annapolis, Maryland, drawing crowds consistently each and every year.

Captain Chris Caldwell, Cruiser Expo coordinator and owner of Captain Chris Yacht Services, LLC, will cover the myriad of topics related to the annual boat show and the second annual Cruiser Expo, as well as let the public and and boating enthusiasts know what they can expect this year. Besides the Stuart Boat Show, Captain Chris will talk about the annual migration of this area.s valued seasonal boaters and how they contribute to the Treasure Coast's tourism economy.

Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast’s relationship with the Islands of the Bahamas continues to grow. This week, well known Plantation, Florida Bahamas Tourist Office general manager Earl Miller will be in the house. Listen in to learn about the new and exciting tourism initiatives being planned by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Here's a hint--those individuals and families who enjoy 'chasing the white ball' are going to love the new campaign.

As usual, Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors continue to explore all there is to know about tourism in our region and beyond and how it affects YOU. By supporting tourism on the Treasure Coast, we are working together to build a stronger economy and superior quality of life. Tourism works for all of us and let's face it, what could be better than simply helping visitors to our area have a great time?

Tune your radio dial to WPSL 1590 AM or your computer to on Friday at 10 a.m. to hear the discussion on these topics and more!

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