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!
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