Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shipwrecks, Pirates & Interscholastic Sports Tourism

Back on the Treasure Coast after two shows from the Islands of the Bahamas, Talkin Tourism' on Florida's Treasure Coast will broadcast live this week from the oldest structure in Martin County.

Having saltwater in his veins, Radio Man likes to be close to the ocean and this week's show location--the House of Refuge--ensures the ocean will just be yards away. The House of Refuge at Gilbert's Bar in Martin County, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the last remaining shipwreck life-saving station (out of 10 orginially built) in the United States. Built in 1876 to help stranded sailors, its long colorful history spanned nearly 70 years. Sitting atop the Anastasia Formation, a prominent rock formation along the coast of Florida , the House of Refuge has weathered many storms.If only the walls (and rocks) could talk!

With History Lady out of town for a wedding, Amy Christensen, the development manager for the Historical Society of Martin County will be guiding listeners through some of the history, as well as exhibits currently at the Elliott Museum. Amy will deliver Robin's “This Week in Martin County History” and give listeners a look at what’s coming up on the Treasure Coast scene,  as Memorial Day Weekend approaches.

Back for a return appearance special guest host Ed Griffith, general manager of the Courtyard Hutchinson Island Oceanside/Jensen Beach , will be sitting in for Robin. Since the show site is in a nautical and historic setting, any bets on whether privateer Don Pedro “Edwardo” Gilbert will pay a visit?

The BIG topic of this week show will be how recent the recent FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) Baseball Finals made a big hit on the Treasure Coast's tourism industry over the last two weeks. Treasure Coast Sports Commission’s Executive Director, Tom Colucci will fill listeners in on the economic impact of this and other sporting events, which are helping to make a difference for the tourism industry during these challenging times.

Will the crew need their fowl weather gear or will the weather be beautiful? To find out, tune in tomorrow at 10 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM or on the Web at!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tipsy turtles, GPS chaos, and WTF?

Well folks, if you listened to the show or checked out the Talkin' Tourism Facebook page, you know that Radio Man and the Coastal Angler Magazine crew made it safely across the Gulf Stream. However, things didn't go quite as planned. The original plan was to get an early start and reach Marsh Harbour, Abaco by sunset. A late start and a screen light failure on the boat's GPS caused the crew to improvise and pull into the Green Turtle Club on Green Turtle Cay. Since Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast can be done from anywhere (and because of that we've dubbed it pirate radio), there was “no problem, Mon!"  Molly MacIntosh, from the Green Turtle Club, rolled out the red carpet for the wayward sailors.

After a cold chardonnay (or two, but who's counting?) and getting caught up with Molly since the last Talkin' Tourism broadcast from Green Turtle, we were shown to our fabulous comfy rooms (the best beds in Abaco!) and got a good night's sleep. Up at first light, Radio Man prepped for the show, which was hosted in the comfortable Yacht Club lounge.

As we rolled into the show, Captain Angelo described in some detail the crossing and how well the Twin Vee 27-foot center-console performed. You just may want to check out this Treasure Coast made boat!

Lynn Johnson, general manager of the Green Turtle Club, took her turn at the mike and shared with listeners all that Green Turtle Club has to offer their guests— comfortable accommodations, full-service marina, its relationship with Brendal’s Dive Center, terrific food, and friendly, welcoming staff. She also told listeners about the property's great new guest package called WTF (When Turtles Fly--not the expletive!), which offers fabulous discounts to boaters and vacationers.

Coastal Angler Magazine editor Ben Martin and Gary covered a wide range of fishing and Bahamas-related topics of interest for the boater/fisherman headed to the islands this summer. Gary also asked Ben for his opinion on the Deep Horizon Oil Spill.

Fictional fishing guide/fishing report writer Thatch McGuire was also on the show and caused a little controversy. It appears that Thatch and Ben have a little discussion going as to whether or not fishing report writers should have an expense account to cover the libations that may induce fishing guides to “spill da beans” on where the bite is best. How did this controversy get solved? Download the show to get the low-down.

Thanks for tuning in and keep those cards and e-mails coming. To stay up on breaking news, become one of the show's Facebook fans, and be sure to recommend your friends and family do the same.

See you on Friday!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

On a Twin Vee mission to Abaco

Talkin Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast, the Official Flahama radio station, is now one step closer to becoming “pirate radio.”  

Talkin' Tourism co-hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors will certainly be on the move in the coming weeks. We decided to scrap the original concept for this week’s show (broadcasting from the House of Refuge on Hutchinson Island, Stuart, Florida) because Radio Man was offered an intriguing assignment - to help deliver a 26-foot Twin Vee Catamaran to a secret destination in Abaco, Bahamas.  

You may ask, "What does this have to do with Treasure Coast tourism…and wasn’t Radio Man in Abaco just two weeks ago?"  Well, ladies and gentleman, the ever-popular Twin Vee Catamaran is made right here on our very own Treasure Coast.  Yes indeed, their plant is located in Fort Pierce.  And this well-crafted boat is extremely popular in the islands.  The more Twin Vees are ordered, the more Treasure Coast marine trades craftsman will be working - see, marine tourism does work to make a difference!

Accompanying Radio Man on this adventure will be Ben Martin, editor of the Florida’s most widely read fishing and boating publications, Coastal Angler Magazine.  

Other guests that may appear on the show are still a mystery at this time.  It's rumored, however, that world-renowned fishing guide Thatch McGuire may be in the house.  Knowing Gary and the cast of characters living and playing in Marsh Harbour, he will not be at a loss for a couple more guests.  Who knows, Radio Man may just run into some Treasure Coasters along the way.

Hopefully, History Lady will be able to make the phone connection to the radio station and have a part in the show. She's helping make some great things happen at the Elliott Museum.

So loyal listeners, you know the drill - Friday at 10 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM, or! And don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Having a Billfish Blast, the oil spill in perspective, and local news limelight

This week’s Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast was very important in multiple ways.  First, Gary explained the Bubba Gump Conch reference in last week’s post show blog update.  It finally clicked for Robin once she understood guest co-host Ed Griffith’s affinity for that tasty mollusk of the Bahamas…conch.  

So, Robin DID go fishing on Mother’s Day with her daughter and her friend Lynn.  What did she catch?  Well, I give you a hint…she smoked it, and, no…it was not a “square grouper”… Gary and Robin both enjoyed some of her catch during the show.

Getting past all the chit-chat, Gary and Robin moved on to take a call from Laurie Bass, Tournament Director for the upcoming HMY-Boat Harbour Billfish Blast taking place at Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour in Abaco May 31 - June 4.  Whether you fish in tournaments or not, you will appreciate learning about this family-fun event.  Tune in to find out what each day's theme will be! And, did you happen know that the opening evening’s fireworks display is sponsored by a local Stuart resort/marina? You'll have to listen in to find out which one! 

The main event of the day was a compelling conversation with Gary Roderick, head of the Division of Environmental Quality for Martin County, Florida.  Gary recently spearheaded a meeting with public and private sector folks interested in developing and implementing a plan in case the disastrous Deep Horizon Oil Spill reaches the Treasure Coast.  What should local residents and visitors expect to see?  What are the chances?  Are we ready? Having Gary explain the answers to these and other questions certainly put the issue in its proper perspective.

Lastly, we discussed the message that Florida tourism officials want out in the public to ensure visitors don't cancel reservations and vacations to the Sunshine State based on misinformation and assumptions. 

An unexpected surprise awaited both Gary 1 and 2 and Robin after the show, as WPTV Channel 5 reporter Jon Shainman showed up to film the three about the days’ topics.  Pretty cool for TV to follow Talkin' Tourism!

Here's the audio file for today's show. Have a great weekend and "see" you next week for another action-packed Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Back in Abaco fishing (at least in spirit), and explaining the oil spill's effect on our coast

What could be almost as good as being back in Abaco?  

Well, talking about another great fishing tournament coming up at Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour is a pretty good start!  Laurie Bass, tournament director for the HMY - Boat Harbour Billfish Blast, will be calling in to Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast from her office in Texas to discuss the upcoming tournament taking place May 31 - June 4.  

This tournament, now in its 11th year, lives up to its name and always is a “Blast.” The event is ranked among the best billfish tournaments in the world and it's truly a family-fun event.  What Treasure Coast and South Florida boats will be competing? How far will folks be coming from to fish with the best of the best?  You will know if you tune in!

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill tragedy has certainly has gotten everyone’s attention.  But, is the media hyping this disaster, or possibly down-playing the potential consequences? And locally, what could be the worst case scenario for the Treasure Coast?

Talkin' Tourism is very pleased to have Gary Roderick, head of the Division of Environmental Quality for Martin County, FL with us this week.  Gary will explain what plans are currently in the works should the spill reach and affect the Treasure Coast. He will also discuss if and how residents can help out. And finally, he'll explain which agencies and organizations are working jointly from both the public and private sector to ensure that the impacts are minimal.

It's been a long two-week hiatus, folks, but History Lady is back in the co-host seat. Rumor has it that she went offshore fishing again recently. Could this pastime become a passion? 

All this and more is on tap this week, so listeners, you know the drill - 10 a.m. on Fridays, set your dial to 1590 WPSL AM or log on to for your weekly dose of tourism!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

R-O-C-K-in' in Abaco

Get ready to tap your foot! Here's a MTV-like photo essay of Talkin' Tourism's recent visit to Abaco. Enjoy the fun! After viewing, drop us a note ( and let us know how you liked it and what you might like to see on future remotes.

Special thanks to Abaco Beach Resort & Marina at Boat Harbour for the hospitality, Yellow Air Taxi, and Coastal Angler Magazine for helping with the airlift!

Bathtub Reef Beach is set to open by Memorial Day weekend, check out photos of its progress

Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers' George Andreassi broke the big news yesterday - Martin County's famous Bathtub Reef Beach will be open and ready for the public by Memorial Day weekend.

Our inquisitive host Radio Man couldn't help but sneak a peek at how the beach's restoration has turned out. See for yourself - check out the progress that Martin County has made in restoring its landmark beach in a few of Radio Man's snapshots.

Bathtub Reef Beach restoration

Bubba Gump Conch, Radio Man and six tourism experts in Abaco

With summer boating season in full swing, this week’s broadcast from Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour could not have been more timely. Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast set a new show record with six terrific guests jampacked into only one hour.

Our lead guest, Abaco Beach Resort's general manager Bob Kramm, set the stage by describing the amenities, superb dining, entertainment, and diversions to be found at this established boaters' landmark. Harbour Master Chris Higgs then gave the details of their first class marina. How large of a vessel can they handle, what are the controlling depths to the channel, and what level of commitment to customer service does his staff have? Hear it from the man himself.

The name Kevie Thomas is known by hundreds of Treasure Coast sportfishing enthusiasts. Gary and Kevie had a blast reconnecting with boat names and Treasure Coast personalities that have spent time at Abaco Beach Resort over the years either “fun fishing” or competing in world class tournaments. You WILL recognize many of these names. As a matter of fact, one section of their marina was referred to from time to time as “Stuart Place”!

What were guest co-host Ed Griffith’s first impressions of Abaco? Well, Ed has been around the block a few times. By his descriptions, you might want to book a trip to the out-islands soon. The second half of the show was dedicated to island activities such as diving, ecology, the Bahamas National Trust and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Keith Rogers, owner of Dive Abaco!, enthusiastically shared his love of Abaco as a supreme diving mecca. He even shared his “secret find” called Independence Reef and told us all why it's such a special dive.

The Bahamian people care about their environment and the stewardship of their natural resources. Guest Lynn Gape, Deputy Executive Director of the Bahamas National Trust, eloquently explained how the Bahamian government ensures these resources are protected for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. What’s the latest effort? How about a Training Program for Guides for Birding Tours. To wrap things up, Wynsome Ferguson, manager of the Abaco Ministry of Tourism Office, gave listeners some very interesting news…how about a “Companions Fly Free” program!!! Wynsome agreed that with all interested tourism stakeholders working together, both within the U.S. and the Bahamas, everyone benefits.

Thanks are in order for the staff from Abaco Beach Resort from the Talkin' Tourism crew. Special thanks to Bob Kramm, GM, Simon Parr, Resort Engineer, and Everette Coakley, Director of Food and Beverage, for making our stay so special. A big thank you to Coastal Angler Magazine for assisting with the airlift to Abaco via Yellow Air Taxi - we had a smooth, easy trip.

A side note regarding guest co-host Ed Griffith…his new island name is “Bubba Gump Conch”. Next time you see him…ask why.

Another great broadcast with spectacular guests and loads of useful information…enjoy the show!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Update: Wynsome Ferguson, manager of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism office in Abaco, added to Friday's show

A sixth guest with some serious knowledge about the Bahamian tourism market will be on hand Friday for Talkin' Tourism's 10 a.m. live broadcast from Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour.

Wynsome Ferguson, manager of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism office in Marsh Harbour in Abaco, will take the mike with host Gary Guertin and guest co-host Ed Griffith this Friday for the special live remote show. Wynsome oversees day-to-day operations at the Ministry of Tourism office, and has supervised events like Junkanoo Summer Festival, Abaco Christmas Festival and Regatta Time in Abaco.

Welcome aboard, Wynsome! A big thanks for coming on the show!

Conch fritters, deep-fried grouper and Kalik: Talkin' Tourism is Abaco-bound

We're taking another step in our quest to broadcast live from every island in the Caribbean (what a mission!) - and this week on Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast, it's back to the Bahamas for Radio Man. Tough life, isn't it?

Can everyone say conch fritters, deep-fried grouper and a Kalik? Because host Gary Guertin and guest co-host Ed Griffith are making their way to Marsh Harbour in Abaco.

Summertime is approaching quickly, which means residents and visitors on the Treasure Coast are packing their fishing rods, SPF-30 and snorkeling gear for a trip to the islands. The Bahamas offer such a great variety of top-notch vacation spots, so Talkin' Tourism is hitting the airwaves to narrow down some of the resort/marinas that vacationers should mark as must-visits.

One of those great Bahamian locales, Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour, is our destination this week. Just 165 miles from South Florida, the Abacos are a boater's and fisherman’s paradise.

Kicking off a star-studded lineup from the resort staff and elsewhere in the islands, Abaco Beach Resort’s COO/GM Bob Kramm will be the first up in the hot seat. Enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable, Bob is responsible for creating Bahama Buddies, a group of young Bahamians who assist with children’s programming at the resort so visiting youngsters can learn about Bahamian culture during their stay. Bob will also familiarize you with the “Entertainment Capital of the Abacos.”

Most Treasure Coast boaters who have spent time at Boat Harbour know Rooms Division Director Ms. Kevie ThomasKevie, our second guest, has watched many Treasure Coast "children" grow up throughout her more-than 20-year tenure at the resort. The guy that every boater needs to know is Chris Higgs, harbour master at the resort's marina. Luckily, listeners will get that chance on Friday when Chris gets in the mix with Ed and Gary. From well-known tournaments such as the Bertram/Hatteras Shootout, Abaco Beach Resort/HMY Billfish Blast Bahamas Billfish Championship and Penny Turtle Invitational, to manufacturer’s boating rendezvous for the likes of Marine Max, Sea Ray, World Cat and more, Chris and his staff ensure the best possible experience.

Looking for eco-adventure? Lynn Gape, executive director of the Bahamas National Trust, plans to provide a wealth of knowledge about the vibrant wildlife thriving in Abaco during her appearance on Talkin' Tourism. With her expertise, Lynn will highlight the unique beauty of Abaco’s natural resources, from wild horses to the famous Abaconian Parrot.

Rounding out the guest list will be Keith Rogers of Dive Abaco!, who has been leading diving enthusiasts to the depths of the Abaconian waters since 1978.

Last, but not least, our special guest co-host Ed will be making his inaugural road trip with Talkin' Tourism. What will he think of the Abacos?

Get your radio (or internet browser) ready - when Talkin' Tourism hits the islands, the show always promises to be a blast! Tune in to WPSL 1590 AM, or log onto Friday at 10 a.m. to catch us live.

Monday, May 3, 2010

NEWS RELEASE: Abaco in the Bahamas is next tropical stop Friday, May 7 for Talkin' Tourism

STUART, FL (May 3, 2010)--Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast is cozying up at Abaco Beach Resort and Marina in the Bahamas for a live broadcast on Friday, May 7 which will continue stirring up travel interest between Florida and its island neighbors to the east.

The hour-long live show featuring host Gary Guertin and special guest host Ed Griffith will air at 10 a.m. E.S.T. on WPSL 1590 AM. A panel of five prominent Bahamian tourism personalities plans to join Guertin and Griffith on air for a lively discussion about the Bahamian and Florida markets, and their cross-promotion efforts.

Abaco Beach Resort and Marina’s Chief Operating Officer/General Manager Bob Kramm, Rooms Director Kevie Thomas and Harbour Master Chris Higgs will all take the mike to talk about what their islands and resort have to offer. Lynn Gape, executive director of The Bahamas National Trust, and Keith Rogers of Dive Abaco will also help round out the hour of banter and tourism tidbits.

The May 7 show continues a Talkin’ Tourism tradition of crossing the Gulf Stream to broadcast. The weekly talk radio show has made the rounds through the islands, airing live from Bimini, Grand Bahama, and Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas, and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands throughout the last year.

Talkin’ Tourism airs every Friday on WPSL 1590 AM from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The show is produced by Harborage Yacht Club & Marina.

A three-county tourism soiree on air

What do you get when four dynamic, passionate, ebullient tourism professionals mix it up in the Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast studio? One fantastic show!

History Lady's adoring fans kicked off the show by sending her some happy birthday wishes, and then Radio Man and Robin jumped right into this week’s theme - National Travel and Tourism Week and Tourism 101. Gary gave a rundown of the who, when, what and why of this special industry week that promotes the travel and tourism industry. Tune in to find out which United States President issued the Presidential Proclamation that created this annual week of travel appreciation!

Then it was time for our listeners to learn the ropes of Treasure Coast tourism under the tutelage of three very qualified instructors - St. Lucie County Tourism Development Council coordinator Charlotte Lombard, Mary Jayne Kelly from the Cultural Council of Indian River County, and Rozeta Mahboubi, executive director of the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Each of our distinguished guests took turns explaining the ins and outs of the tourism industry across the three Treasure Coast counties, including the pros and cons of how Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties go about promoting travel. Some counties operate their tourism promotions through a Convention and Visitors Bureau, others market tourism through a Chamber of Commerce. Listen in to hear what about what makes each county distinct, and what the three Treasure Coast counties have in common to offer to travelers.

On a side note - “Are You a…Culture Vulture” is a great publication produced by the Cultural Council of Indian River County…is it for the birds?

As suspected, each county will be recognizing National Tourism and Travel Week in its own unique way. Radio Man may have offered a suggestion to promote the week, and the girls may have liked what he had to say. Those are all the details you'll get unless you tune in!

And finally, Erica Byfield, president of Comet Creative, helped revisit the Treasure Coast-Bahamas connection in the works in St. Lucie County. Are these folks who are garnering support for the St. Lucie County/Grand Bahama Island Initiative near reaching a plan of action?

As always, a big Talkin' Tourism thanks to our guests for appearing on the show this week to share a wealth of knowledge about our coast's tourism industry.
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