Friday, July 31, 2009

The charm of Stuart, those behind it, and what's to come

Arriving dressed in his very best 'Aloha' attire, City of Stuart Commissioner and Martin County Tourism Development Council member Jeffrey Krauskopf gave listeners a very detailed perspective of why and how the City of Stuart has evolved into the charming, unique and sought after Small Town destination it is today. From the early visions of Andres Duany, community charettes, pink sidewalks, the development of the Stuart MainStreet Program, and a unique waterfront location, to today’s vibrant array of shops, restaurants and a 'classic theatre' bringing celebrated performances to the community, Jeffrey’s years of involvement in our City and County give him enormous historical knowledge.

What’s in store for the future? An exposition centre?? More public/private partnerships such as the new Sunset Bay Marina?? A passenger train depot?? If you listened to this week’s show you’d know.

Kick back, download the show (HERE) and get updated on the Bahamas, Natalie, Queen of Scots filming, plans for a Florida/Islands of the Bahamas Golf Championship Series, and more!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Small towns and downtowns…the Treasure Coast’s 'Silver Bullet'

There is no question that the economy is impacting travel trends and creating new Webster terms like 'stay-cations,' 'car-cations.' And, it's giving the off-the-beaten-path destinations an advantage over the more classic big-city destinations such as Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach in attracting visitors.

On the Treasure Coast, the three county area is blessed with terrific small towns and neighborhoods, each with their own unique charm, attractions and flavor.

Through the efforts of a number of organizations and the City of Stuart's vision and leadership, Stuart (named 'Most Beautiful City' by America In Bloom in 2008) has evolved into a model Small Town and Downtown that today's visitors are seeking.

This week’s guest, City of Stuart Commissioner Jeffrey Krauskopf, who is also a member of the Martin County Tourism Development Council, will share with the listening audience his views about the City of Stuart’s tremendous support of the tourism effort, as well as its the long term vision for the community. It should be fascinating to hear his comments and observations.

Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors will continue the recap of the fist 27 shows, as well as provide the usual (and sometimes unusual) updates and tourism news from around the block to around the State.

This Friday at 10 a.m., tune your radio dial to WPSL 1590 AM to catch the latest LIVE show of Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Southern Circuit-Tour of Independent Film Makers

They say—"there is at time for everything," and "timing is everything is life," and "no time like the present." Well it seems that now IS the time for independent film production in Martin County and the Treasure Coast.

Coincidence or not, this week's guest, Nancy Turrell from the Arts Council of Martin County explained how the Arts Council and the Friends of the Blake Library have teamed up to deliver a series of independent film screenings. Officially, entitled 'Southern Circuit-Tour of Independent Film Makers,' the series will run from September 2009 to April 2010 (excluding December and January).

The only other city in the State of Florida that is also participating in the series is Jacksonville. Since there is somewhat of a “cult” following of independent films, the Arts Council is planning to work with area hotels to create film package get-a-ways to encourage visitors to come, enjoy the screening and 'hang out' in Martin County for a while.

Films scheduled to be screened include:

• DARE NOT WALK ALONE, Jeremy Dean, director/producer
• PANTS ON FIRE, Colin Campbell, director/producer
• MILKING THE RHINO, David E. Simpson, director/producer
• BLEACHER BOYS, Karen Hunter, producer

For more information on the screenings, contact the Arts Council at

In addition to the show's usual segments, Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors reviewed past show topics and provided updates to tourism initiatives around the Treasure Coast. Tried as they might, they were only able to get as far as the May 14th show. Guertin remarked, "It is amazing how many topics we have covered…and so many more to go!"

The link to listen to the July 24 show is HERE.

Join us for more Talkin' Tourism of Florida's Treasure Coast this coming Friday on WPSL 1590 at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 26 Show Preview: Independent film screenings coming to Blake Library

With all the “buzz” around town about independent film production going on in our area, guest Nancy Turell, the executive director of the Martin County Arts Council, Inc., will share with the listening audience the dates a series of independent films will be screened in cooperation with the Friends of the Blake Library. She will also update everyone about upcoming programs and activities coordinated through the Arts Council for the upcoming months.

The reset of the show could be titled Talkin Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast-REWIND.

Now that 27 shows have been produced since the show's inception in January 2009, it is a great time to review all of the different topics, items of interest, guests and personalities that have appeared on the show and update listeners on the status of these tourism related activities.

Friday, Talkin' Tourism co-host Robin Hicks-Connors will share her “This Week in Treasure Coast History” and “What’s Happening This Weekend." There will also be a Bahamas update and, and discussion on underwater photographer and adventurer Tanya Burnett-Palmer’s favorite snorkeling places. How many of them are in the Bahamas?

Tune in to WPSL 1590-AM this Friday, July 26 at 10 a.m. and enjoy the fun as host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin move through the Treasure Coast Summer!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hospitality Industry is Growing Its Own

The guest on Friday, July 17 was Pierre Uteschill, who lead a brilliant discussion on the Martin County High School’s Academy of Marketing and Management and its impact on developing students for future careers in the hospitality industry.

Originally founded as the Academy of Travel and Tourism, the academy has evolved into something quite in keeping with the needs of this diverse and exciting industry.

Listen to the sho to learn what specific skills are being taught? What is the difference between and internship and on the job training? How does a student actually get into the program? What role does the Academy advisory board play in ensuring that the curriculum is in keeping with today’s trends in the hospitality industry?

As has become the norm, Talkin' Tourism co-host Robin Hicks-Connors and host Gary Guertin covered a variety of topics updating listeners on the latest Bahamas Boating Fling headed to the Abaco’s for ten days, tings to do, places to go, and what not to miss this week on the Treasure Coast.

Looking for a great dockage deal? How does $7.50/ft./month sound? Harborage Yacht Club and Marina” Summer Sizzles” deal will blow you away.
Enjoy the show! Download or listen to it HERE.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lobsterback makes a splash on TCPalm!

Check it out!

The Treasure Coast Goes Hollywood!

Lobsterback Entertainment set to begin filmingindependent feature on the Treasure Coast

STUART, FLA (July 16, 2009)—“Lights, camera, action!” will be heard along the Treasure Coast beginning Monday, July 20 when a cast and crew of 30 begin filming an independent feature in the area.

NATALIE, QUEEN OF SCOTS, a Lobsterback Entertainment production, is a Don Quixote-esque story about a nine year old girl (Natalie), who goes to war with oceans and battles alligators to escape from the arrival of a new baby sister, a potential challenge to her fantasy empire. It’s a family film about growing up without having to lose the thing you love the most.

According to producer Serenity Caldwell, “We’ll be using a number of locations for NATALIE, QUEEN OF SCOTS. Some of those we’ve locked in include the House of Refuge, Jensen Beach Causeway Park, downtown Jensen Beach, Port Salerno Elementary School, St. Lucie Catholic Church (Port St. Lucie), Harborage Yacht Club & Marina, Pools by Greg (Port St. Lucie) and Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine.”

The two child leads for the film (Natalie and Nicholas) include local actors Kelli Carroll and Nicholas Dellacrose.

Writer/director Brian Carroll, a former Port St. Lucie resident, is excited to be back on the Treasure Coast, “There was no question in my mind when writing the story for NATALIE, QUEEN OF SCOTS about returning ‘home’ to showcase the beauty of this area. If all goes well, we plan to produce two other features here and move Lobsterback Entertainment’s studio permanently to the area.”

Filming will take five weeks and cost $250,000. Post-production will be done in the Jensen Beach/Stuart area and the low-budget feature will be ready by the end of this year to debut in several key film festivals, with intent for limited distribution and the possibility of a national distribution campaign.

Funding an independent feature is no easy task, but the Generation Z team of Carroll and Caldwell knew social media might work for them. After designing a Web site ( in June and spreading the word through a viral campaign using social media like Twitter and Facebook, the pair raised its initial $19,000 in 27 hours. The duo still needs to secure additional funds to finance the production and is actively seeking potential investors for NATALIE, QUEEN OF SCOTS.

Harborage Yacht Club & Marina (in Stuart) is hosting a Hollywood-themed party—The Treasure Coast Goes Hollywood—Past, Present and Future— on Saturday, July 18 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to help introduce movie buffs and potential investors to the cast and crew. Attendees are encouraged to dress as their favorite actor or actress for the affair. The yacht club will turn into a movie set for the night, complete with red carpet, the paparazzi, movie props, life-size celebrity cutouts, Frances Langford movie motif, and onsite test filming and acting by the NATALIE, QUEEN OF SCOTS cast and crew.

To attend or learn more about the the Hollywood-themed party at Harborage Yacht Club & Marina, call (772) 692-4000, extension 3.

For learn more about investment opportunities in the feature, contact Caldwell or Carroll at (626) 379-8409 or e-mail

This week: Growing your own through education

The hospitality and tourism industry is the largest industry on the planet.

From careers in food service, lodging, transportation, management and entertainment to resort construction, cruise ships and interior design of world class facilities, the industry is the single largest employer globally. There is not one career path that cannot be pursued in the wide world of the Hospitality Industry.

Where do these employee’s come from?

How do they get their start?

What has been done and what is currently being done to start Treasure Coast students down he path to successful careers in his dynamic industry?

This weeks guest Pierre Uteschill, teacher/director of Martin County High School's Academy of Marketing Management, will describe the exciting and successful program currently in place and how it evolved from the Academy of Travel and Tourism, which was established in 1995 by local tourism stakeholders.

Pierre was born in France and moved to the States when he was nine. He's a recent transplant to the Treasure Coast from Orlando who has immersed himself in Martin County. His involvements include LEADERship Martin County (Class 19), advisor to the DECA Marketing Club, and a founding member of the Young Professionals of Martin County. He is also a successful small business owner.

Tune in and enjoy as Gary and Robin take to the airwaves with another edition of Talkin Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast this Friday at 10 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

MOVIE TEASER: What locations on the Treasure Coast will appear in NATALIE, QUEEN OF SCOTS?

Here's one that will appear in this independent feature, which begins shooting on our shores this Monday, July 20. This elementary school is going to become the Treasure Coast's next 'HOT' school!

Who did those great sea-life murals???

Friday, July 10, 2009

Camera, Lights, and Action on the Treasure Coast!

This week’s show was all about “ACTION” (as in lights…camera…action) as show host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors had the writer/director and producer of the feature film NATALIE, QUEEN OF SCOTS as the guests in the Harborage Yacht Club and Marina Talkin' Tourism studio.

Brian Carroll and Serenity Caldwell talked about their excitement with the upcoming production of this independent feature film being shot in the Martin County and Treasure Coast area. Shooting is scheduled to start on or around July 20 and is expected to last approximately 30 days. The crew consists of 20 and according to Brian and Serenity have “all of the Happy Hours and restaurant special deals committed to memory!”

This niche tourism market definitely has an impact on our local economy. In addition to food/beverage and other retail sales the crew will be spending additional dollars on equipment rentals, talent expenses and more.

So, just what makes and independent film independent? How long does a film have to be to be considered a feature film? What unique method of funding is being used by Lobsterback Entertainment (for more information visit that will help guarantee a return on investment and an audience? To learn more about the film, visit

The rest of the show full of “Guertinism’s” (Boat-cations, Car-cations), Robin’s “This Week in Treasure Coast History,” upcoming events, and everything (well almost) you need to know about tourism.

The show's audio can be dowloaded or listened to on your computer by selecting this LINK. Grab a tall cool boat drink, sit back, and enjoy the show!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

This week: Film and television production on the Treasure Coast

In past shows, host Gary Guertin has talked about the niche tourism market of Film and Television Production and the potential for Martin County and the entire Treasure Coast. Well folks, tomorrow we will introduce you to film writer/director Brian Carroll and producer Serenity Caldwell of Lobsterback Entertainment who are actually in Martin County producing an independent film entitled Natalie, Queen of Scot's.

Why did they select Martin County as a location for their film, how long will they be shooting, and how has the Martin County CVB and the private sector assisted in the production? Learn this and more as Brian and Serenity share their excitement with the listening audience.

Co-host Robin Hicks-Connors (aka “History Lady”) will have a bit of film making trivia as relates to the film production business in Martin County. You may be surprised that this is nothing new!

Lots going on this summer whether you are taking a 'staycation,' 'boatcation' or 'carcation.' Great deals are everywhere.

How is the rest of Florida doing? Gary and Robin have collected tidbits of info from around the State they want to share.

Summer Sizzles with great deals for dockage at Harborage Yacht Club and Marina as well as a great new Summer Specials Dining Program…stretch your summer “Fun Dolla’s”.

Tune in and enjoy as Gary and Robin take to the airwaves with another edition of Talkin Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast this Friday at 10 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM.

P.S. Here's a video journal from Lobsterback Productions detailing Natalie, Queen of Scot's. Enjoy!

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 3 Show Wrap: Review of trip to Grand Bahama; What's up with tourism in Martin County; and another 'island' connection.

Many thanks to all of the folks on Grand Bahama who contributed to the live remote broadcast of Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast! It was a great success!

Talkin' Tourism is looking forward to several more remote broadcasts over the summer with the next one hopefully being from Green Turtle Club on Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas as show host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors chase down participants on the Bahamas Summer Boating Fling! Details to come.

Rozeta Mahboubi, the executive director of the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) provided an update on current marketing strategies and tactics being implemented during the current economic downturn. Surprisingly, Martin County and the Treasure Coast are not doing as badly as some experts had predicted. Listen to the show to learn why, about what regional markets are now being targeted, and the forecast for the upcoming Winter Season.

Ms. Lori Lachnicht, a veteran with years of experience in promoting tourism in the Bahamas and Caribbean and a new friend of Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast, shares her insights as to how the Treasure Coast is similar in many ways to an 'island destination. ' She feels the Treasure Coast can learn to operate in ways similar to the islands to overcome transportation issues and challenges.

Tune in to the show (listen or download HERE) and get an update on great activities, as well as other summer events along the Treasure Coast that you won't want to miss.

For more Talkin' Tourism, tune in to WPSL 1590 AM next Friday at 10 a.m.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 3 Show Preview: How's Tourism in Martin County and Connecting the Dots to More Bahamian Friends

We all know that tourism is very soft in general. So, what is the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) doing to make the best out of this downturn? How are our hotels being effected? Since Bed Tax collections are down, how is this effecting the CVB’s ability to promote the destination?

This week Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin and co-host Robin Hicks-Connors interview Rozeta Mahboubi, the executive director of the Martin County CVB. Rozeta has been in the post for eight months. How is the bureau coping with bed-tax funding shortfalls, and what is being done to promote tourism to Martin County?

Keeping with our Bahamas and Caribbean summer theme, Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast has invited Lori Lachnicht into the studio to share her thoughts and expertise on how the Treasure Coast can best tap into this potential market. Lori has a long history in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Her past associations include: Caribbean Territory Manager for Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine (Bonnier Corporation); sales and marketing positions with The Ginn Company (Old Bahama Bay); Generation Corporation (MainStay Suites); Spice Island Tours with properties in Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts, Barbados and the Bahamas; marketing and advertising account representative for Skin Diver Magazine and Dive Report; as well being theco-owner of USA Travel d.b.a. Bahamas Travel Network.

What is the Treasure Coast connection? Lori served as a territory account manager for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers and Media from 2005-2007.

Turn your radio dial to WPSL 1590 A.M this Friday (July 3) at 10 a.m. to learn more, and don’t forget to thank a visitor for vacationing on the Treasure Coast.
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