Monday, February 23, 2009

Stuart Single Fin Showdown and St. Lucie Tourism Feb 20 Show Recap

Listeners of the Feb 20 Talkin' Tourism radio show, now know how surfing brought the show's host, Gary Guertin, to Stuart. The United Way of Martin County's first ever surfing contest--Stuart Single Fin Showdown--slated March 14 and 15 at Stuart Beach, is expected to attract several hundred surfing fans to the area.

Justin Beard, communications director of the United Way, host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors touch on the fact that the sport of surfing does have an impact on tourism.

For those listeners who might want to participate in the contest but don't have a board--no problem! Authentic 70s singlefin will be provided to all surfers who enter the competition, and to make it more challenging, those who advance into later rounds will have to ride a different singlefin during each heat. For more information on the surfing contest, click HERE.

Justin promises this is going to be a fun contest where surfers who normally rip on their modern tri-fin shortboard will have to adjust to surfing with a totally different style. Show host Gary Guertin has signed up to be a judge for the inaugural contest.

The second half of the show explores St. Lucie county tourism programs and funding. Charlotte Lombard, Tourism Development Manager for St. Lucie County, who by the way is an avid surfer, profiles where the county's 5% bed tax goes: first 3-cents goes to the Tradition Station operations; the second 1-cent goes to marketing; and the third 1-cent is divided 33.5% to tourism related capital projects, with the remaining 66.5% going to Tradition Stadium bonds.

George Byfield the CEO/Creative Director of Comet Creative, Inc., the advertising agency of record for St. Lucie County tourism programs, talks about his vision to create a "new" destination package to sell that brings tourists to both St. Lucie County and Grand Bahama. Officials have been speaking with Spirit Airlines and other air carriers to connect St. Lucie County International Airport to Grand Bahama, but no agreements are in place yet.

Expected call-in guest James Turner, Executive Vice-President of the Grand Bahama Tourism Promotion Board, wasn't able to join the group, but is expected to join a Grand Bahama delegation coming to St. Lucie County March 4 through March 7.

When the audio clip from Feb 20 show is available, it'll be posted here.
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