Friday, October 29, 2010

Technology is Grand...When it Works. :)

Neil Watson, Jr., Avian Morley, and Captain Freddy from
from the second Eleuthera show, sharing insights on
fishing, diving, conch, and so much more.
(Audio for the second  show to be uploaded shortly.)

Well, those who are listening to the Eleuthera show are hearing the first show we did on Eleuthera. It's great, but it's not the one you were supposed to hear.

The studio is looking for the second Eleuthera show, which showcased fshing, diving and the Cape Eleuthera Institute. We hope to upload the second show to the blog tomorrow, along with the photos and video footage.

Where in the world would we be without technology? Like the title states, it's great when it works!

In the meantime, enjoy the first show...great guests and great topics!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Revisiting a Beautiful Island: Eleuthera, Bahamas

In August, the Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond) team headed to the island of Eleuthera for its first broadcast from this Bahamas Out Island. The show was spectacular with guests including now former Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Vernice Walkine, Sustainable Tourism General Manager Earlston McPhee, Member of Parliment, South Eleuthera, Hon. Oswald Ingraham, and other Eleutheran movers and shakers. The primary focus of the show was to promote the country’s Blue Flag Programme and other Bahamas related tourism initiatives.

This week, Talkin’ Tourism is back on Eleuthera! A one-hour show was just not long enough time to provide our listeners with information on all the fun things to do above and under the sea, the places to go and explore, the pristine beaches to visit, and the beautiful gin clear water to rejuvenate one’s soul. So, as they say in the Caribbean, we go to come back, and this week we're back!

Talkin' Tourism special guest co-host Ed Griffith and host Gary Guertin catch up on Friday with our friends at Cape Eleuthera Resort and Yacht Club on Powell Point, South Eleuthera, who know how to help people have a great time.

Diving enthusiasts will enjoy hearing from Neal Watson Jr., operator of Cape Eleuthera Divers. Fishing enthusiast’s attention will be grabbed by Cape Eleuthera Resort and Yacht Club’s dockmaster and local fishing guru Leon Gibson and Captain Freddy. Hungry for great conch salad? Guest Avian Morley, the head chef and conch salad master at Coco Plums Restaurant and Bar in Rock Sound, describes his enjoyment of being a restaurateur on the island.

Avian will soon be visiting Jensen Beach, Florida as the lead Junkanoo’er in the upcoming Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival! Eleuthera. Eleuthera's Tourism Manager Jackie Gibson also joined the crew and spoke about the Gregory Town, Eleuthera and Jensen Beach, Florida 20-year Sister City relationship. Representatives from the world renown Cape Eleuthera Institute and The Island School, Geoff Walton, Karla Cosgriff and Chris Maxey, spoke about their passion and work in marine science research taking place at the institute and school, including aquaculture, aquaponics, permaculture and much more.

So listeners, treat yourself to a mini vacation this Friday and join us for a little more Bahamian fun, infotainment and Treasure Coast connections!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Henry Flagler Vision Alive and Well & Killer Outdoor Fun

Reg Lawrence is a Treasure Coast transporation expert!
The Beach Boys tune (I Get Around) certainly set the tone for all the transportation talk that was the theme for our most recent show. Reg Lawrence, driver and company representative for Acadiana Destination Services, was a great source of information regarding the transportation needs for both Treasure Coast visitors and locals. It would seem from Reg’s comments, there definitely is a need for the types of services provided by Acadiana Destination Services and similar transportation firms. As tourism grows, the need will continue to increase. Other “get-around” conversations revolved around alternative transportation opportunities that could possibly work on the Treasure Coast, whether to and around a downtown shopping district, or shuttle service to the beach or other attractions. Accommodating visitor transportation needs does contribute to good impressions and making a region a quality destination for tourists.

On a grander scale, City of Stuart Mayor and Martin County Metropolitan Planning Organization Chairman Michael Mortell, was a wealth of knowledge on the proposed Amtrack/FEC Corridor passenger train proposal. Was Henry Flagler a visionary with his pursuit of the Florida East Coast Railway? It would seem so. The overwhelming consensus, even in the 'modern world,' is passenger rail service along Florida’s East Coast will be a definite boost to tourism, resulting in significant positive economic impact. Mayor Mortell's comments, facts and observations should not be missed on this subject. After listening (download the show HERE), you'll become a believer in the concept too.

With Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers coming on board as a show sponsor, TCPalm’s fishing, boating and outdoor blogger extraordinaire Ed Killer joined Talkin' Tourism hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors to let listeners know that now show fans and listeners can access his blog right from the Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond) site. Now it'll be as easy as it gets to know the latest fishing, boating and outdoor news!!

Thanks for checking out this week’s show, and as always, email us with any comments or suggestions!  And, if you aren't already a Talkin' Tourism Facebook Friend, we'd be honored if you would join us on Facebook!
'See you' next Friday from South Eleuthera in the Bahamas!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Star is Born!

Tourism Agent 007 has reported for duty. Stay tuned for Abaco's Treasure Coast escapdes. And if there are any locations you would like her to cover or people you'd like Abaco to interview, drop an email to

Friday, October 22, 2010

Can't Hear the Live Show on the Web?

We can't either! WPSL is checking into the problem. Hopefully it'll be resolved soon. Fortunately the show is recorded, so if the streaming challenge isn't fixed before the end of the show, check back for the audio file tomorrow.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Round, Round Get-Around.....Killer Blogs and Rails

One important aspect that truly makes a destination visitor-friendly is how easy it is (as the Beach Boys said) to get-around. If visitors arrive by plane, then it is logical to think they will need a car. If they are visiting in a group or participating in a conference, often times there are excursions planned for the group to attractions in the area as a part of their package. Cruise ship passengers also need to “get-around” on \various shore-excursions. Some destinations use horse drawn carriages in their historic downtowns. What about transportation to and from the airport? On many islands in the Bahamas and Caribbean, bicycles and motor scooters are available. Is the Treasure Coast transportation friendly or challenged? What about local taxi service? As a destination, does the Treasure Coast provide a variety transportation for our visitors to make the most of their time. Do we make it easy?

Reg Lawrence of Acadiana Destination Services joins us this week to provide insights into the services they provide to visitors and residents. Also, City of Stuart Mayor and Chairman of the Martin County Metropolitan Planning Organization Michael Mortell will be in the studio to share the latest information on the proposed Amtrack/FEC rail passenger service to the Treasure Coast and Florida's east coast.
The trickle of Valued Season Residents and Boaters is beginnin to turn into a steady stream as November looms closer. What are the signs that tell us that? Ed Killer, outdoors columnist for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, will be in the house to talk about his very popular fishing, boating and outdoor blog and the signs of the changing season. Ed's blog is THE blog to turn to when you want to know what’s happening outdoors!

Talkin' Tourism's regular show segments, such as What’s Going On the Treasure Coast, This Week in Treasure Coast History, Bahamas Updates, and more will make for another fun and fact-filled hour.

See you in the morning!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Gary Guertin (center), outgoing chair of the
Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB)
with CVB executive director Rozeta Mahboubi and
incoming CVB chair Jennifer Ferrari.
Talkin' Tourism's host Gary Guertin and sponsor Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau made the news. Read "Economic woes boost importance of 4-year-old Martin tourism bureau".

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Treasure Coast's Undersea (and Above Sea) Treasures

Radio Man (aka Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin)
going "coastal."
With mask, fins and snorkels at the ready, Radio Man and History Lady took the plunge to explore the undersea treasures of the Treasure Coast. Did Gary and Robin really have mask, fins and snorkels? Just check the show photos!

Deep Six Dive and Watersports representative Glenn Hair provided listeners with his perspective on the Treasure Coast scuba scene as a diving professional. Relatively new to the Treasure Coast region, Glenn shared with show listeners why he made the move to the Treasure Coast. Glenn’s perspective as to WHY this region could be so popular was very interesting. No, we do not always have “gin clear water” and no, the water temperature is not always 82 degree, but you can see some of the same marine life as you can see in Cozumel or the Bahamas? Yes you can! The key to our region’s uniqueness is marine diversity.

History Lady, Robin Hicks Connors, gives the
Talkin' Tourism camera a thumbs up.

From marine ecosystem diversity and water temperature variations to bottom configurations and artificial reefs, the Treasure Coast offers great dive adventures. Radio Man revealed some interesting numbers on the economic impact of our offshore reef systems. These "did you know's" make for great cocktail party talk when the conversation dries up.

So, what you don’t see can’t hurt you. Right? Out of sight, equals out of mind. Wrong! For the next topic covered on the show, what you can't see does hurt and it needs to be top of mind, especially when out enjoying our waterways. As we all have witnessed, debris from many various sources, finds its way to our near-shore and offshore coastal environments. Perhaps you don’t see it when gazing out upon a beautiful blue sea at sunset or sunrise, debris that accumulates on the bottom of the sea, lakes and rivers has a disastrous impact on marine life. Retrieving this debris requires the work of skilled and trained divers. Captain Don Voss, head of the Marine Clean Up Initiative, shared his plan to eradicate this problem with the help of trained volunteer divers. By the time you read this, we'll know if he set a world-record with his planned flotilla in the Ft. Pierce Inlet turning basin.

So, ladies and gentlemen, from near and far, grab your dive gear and head on down to experience some of the most diverse diving opportunities to be found anywhere, right here on Florida’s Treasure Coast.

Here's the audio link to Talkin' Tourism's "The Underwater World of the Treasure Coast" show. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Underwater World of the Treasure Coast

Goliath grouper residing on a Martin County, Florida
offshore reef, smiles for the camera.
Photo credit: Reefmaker Artificial Reefs.
Radio Man and History Lady have covered many topics dealing with “things to do, places to go, and people” to see ABOVE the sea. This week, hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors will dive into things to do, reefs to explore and fishes to meet UNDER the offshore waters of the Treasure Coast! They won’t be suiting up with masks, fins, snorkels, weight belts and air tanks for this edition of Talkin' Tourism, but they will be talking with guest Glenn Hair, a PADI instructor with Deep Six Dive and Underwater Sports. With Glenn's supervision we'll explore the bounty, beauty and undersea adventures just waiting to be found in the waters of the Treasure Coast. From fantastic artificial reef systems to beautiful natural reef systems, join us for this underwater exploration.

In preparation for the show, Radio Man was wondering just how many visitors and locals take advantage of these wonderful resources? He's uncovered some numbers that will certainly encourage our regional tourism promoters to keep this niche “out in front” of our tourism promotional efforts.

Speaking of diving, there are many coastal clean-ups and other initiatives designed for the purpose of educating us not trash our coastlines, but what about the trash and debris that ends up under the sea? Meet Captain Don Voss, a Vero Beach diver and boat captain, who has established the not-for-profit organization Marine Clean Up Initiative, Inc. He will share with listeners a campaign he has organized to rid our ocean and our coastal environments of this debris and yes, you can help!

Now that we are getting closer to turning the corner of the winter season, spectacular events and activities are literally coming out of the woodwork. The Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival, the Stuart Air Show, championship fishing tournaments, and a whole lot more. As always, Radio Man and History Lady will touch upon places to go and things to do, as well as so much more, on this week’s edition of Talkin’ Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast (and Beyond!). So, tomorrow at 10:05 a.m., tune your radio dial to WPSL 1590 AM or your Internet browser to to join us for another week of edutainment!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Treasure Coast Cuisine and the SMERF Tourism Market

Talkin' Tourism co-host Robin Hicks-Connors with
Scripps Treasure Coast Food Critic Diana Foote and
Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and Marina
Sales Manager Tenille McLeod.
Well, no little blue men showed up in the studio but show hosts Robin Hicks-Connors and Gary Guertin were treated to some great SMERF information with guest Tenille McLeod, sales manager for Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and Marina, Stuart, Florida. And Diana Foote, the restaurant reviewer and food critic for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, filled the first half-hour with food!

Speaking of food, Diana Foote talked about Florida signature foods, such as alligator tail and frog legs. Robin became a bit squeemish when Diana mentioned an establishment where the gator could be served up looking like the real thing, but the two shared an affinity for a couple of local establishments where the food and service shouldn't be missed. Dianna shed light on the diversity of culinary experiences found from Vero Beach in Indian River County to Jupiter, Florida in Northern Palm Beach County. Yes, diverse dining opportunities do make a difference. Do Treasure Coast restaurants make the grade?

Without a doubt the SMERF (social, military, educational, religious and fraternal) group markets do play and important role in our regional tourism efforts. Tenille shared what this market likes to do after their meetings, whether being within walking distance of shops, restaurants and activities is important, as well as her thoughts on whether a convention and meeting facility centrally located in Historic Downtown Stuart might help Martin County attract more SMERF’s. Gary also brought up an interesting point: boating SMERF's do exist!

The Bahamas update keyed in on next month's Bahamas Wahoo Challenge and a Bahamas Tourist Office sanctioned Grand Bahama/South Florida Fly-in slated for December 10-20, 2010 that will include "LSA’s," as well as general aviation aircraft. What's an LSA? You'll have to listen to the show or follow this LSA link to know.

As always, thanks for listening and if you missed us, pour yourself your favorite beverage and enjoy this week's episode of Talkin' Tourism.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Importance of FOOD and SMERFs (not the little blue guys)

In addition to clean, comfortable and reasonable accommodations, what is next on the list of visitor “wants” when checking out a vacation destination? The answer is F-O-O-D!

Dining options are a very important factor when visitors are deciding where to spend their valuable “vacation time,” whether they are seeking five-star dining experiences or looking for fun, unique and “down-home” culinary experiences.

Cape Cod Ipswich fried clams and lobster salad, Maryland crab cakes and She Crab soup from the Low Country, conch fritters and conch salad from the Bahamas....hungry? This week we'll check out the role regional signature food plays in enhancing a tourism destination. And, what about service? D├ęcor themes and unique venues add to the experience too. Lots to talk about and special guest Diana Foote, restaurant critic for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers will be in the studio to give us 'insider' information. Diana will also describe the various Treasure Coast dining experiences visitors and residents can enjoy here on the Treasure Coast and she'll share what she looks for in a dining experience. Sounds like hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors will definitely be out to lunch this week!

Some people travel solo and others in a group or as a family. These type of travelers are commonly referred to as “leisure travelers." What about group travel? Tenille McCloud, director of sales for Martin County’s Hutchinson Island Marriott Resort and Marina, will introduce listeners to SMERF’s, not to be confused with Smurfs (the little blue guys) you may have seen on TV or in the movie. S (social), M (military), E (educational), R (religious), F (fraternal) is an industry term to describe the main market segments of tourism group business destinations seek in their overall marketing efforts. Tenille will let us know how the Treasure Coast does in this special niche market, and maybe a few pointers on what the area can do better to attract this valuable market.

The show would not be complete without History Lady’s view of what’s happening on the Treasure Coast, Bahamas updates,  and certainly some laughter, so tune in tomorrow (Friday, October 8) at 10:05 a.m. and catch a mini-vacation and tourism news on this week’s edition of Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond!). You can catch the show on your radio at WPSL 1590 AM or on the Internet at

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NEWS RELEASE: Guy Harvey and Vaughn Cochran Team to Create Black Fly Bimini at the Bimini Big Game Club

Vaughn Cochran to create Black Fly Bimini at the Bimini
Big Game Club, Bimini, Bahamas.
Guy Harvey has annouced he is teaming with fellow artist, conservationist and fly fishing personality, Vaughn Cochran, to launch Black Fly Bimini.

Opening in late October 2010, Black Fly Bimini will operate out of the newly reopened Bimini Big Game Club, a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort and Marina.

Black Fly Bimini will organize all of the Big Game Club's backcountry fishing programs, with on-site staff, operations and merchandising support.

Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Cochran and his fly fishing wife, Jean, oversee Black Fly Inc., a collection of enterprises featuring fly fishing merchandise, art and travel. The couple has recently opened Black Fly Bonefish Club, their newest lodge, located on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas.

"Bimini is one of those rare locations where you can have world-class back-country and offshore fishing just minutes from the dock." said Cochran. "Hands down any day, for a pure adrenaline rush, the Grey Ghosts of Bimini can hold their own against the Man in the Blue Suit," Cochran added referring to the Blue Marlin that is synonymous with Bimini's reputation among off-shore anglers.

About Vaughn Cochran: A Florida native, Cochran grew up in the art community of St. Augustine and earned art degrees in ceramics and painting at the internationally known and respected Art and Printmaking Department of the University of South Florida. Arriving in Key West in 1972, he started his fishing career, teaching Jimmy Buffet how to fly fish while playing the washboard, banjo and bass guitar for his Coral Reefer Band. Becoming one of the most respected fly fishing guides in the Florida Keys, Cochran later managed some of the legendary fishing lodges of the Caribbean and Central America, including Parismina Tarpon Rancho in Costa Rica and Turneffe Island Lodge in Belize. Along the way, he nurtured his artistic calling, and today his works are found in numerous private and corporate collections, including a recent one-man exhibition at the IGFA¹s main gallery.

With his quick wit and entertaining laid back style, Cochran is a frequent host and guest of various fly-fishing TV shows including the popular 'Spanish Fly' with fishing pal, Jose Wejebe.

What started out as Vaughn Cochran's marine art gallery years ago has turned into a unique destination fly shop in the U.S., Black Fly Outfitter, a full service technical fly shop specializing in saltwater flies, custom fly kits, fly rods, fly reels and clothing for tropical fly fishing destinations around the world.

About Bimini Big Game Club, a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort and Marina: Founded as a dinner club in 1936 in Alice Town, by Nassau entrepreneur and bon-vivant, Neville Stuart, the Big Game Club has over the last 74 years hosted world-class fishermen, major tournaments, international celebrities and tens of thousands guests looking to bask in the unique 'Islands in the Stream' mantra made famous by author Ernest Hemingway who fished and lived in Bimini in the mid 1930s.

Today, the Big Game Club's Outpost concept is designed to take the resort beyond that of a 'fishing lodge' to create an eco-destination attracting both fishing and diving enthusiasts while focusing on adventure travel, sustainable tourism and marine conservation. The Club features a 51-room resort and a 75-slip marina capable of accommodating boats up to 145 linear feet. By Spring 2011, a full service fuel dock will be operational. Phase II plans include a Guy Harvey Theater, guest lecture series and interactive sessions with Dr. Harvey and the Guy Harvey Research Institute at NOVA Southeastern Oceanographic Center and day trips to the Bimini Biological Field Station¹s world-famous shark lab.

Hutchinson Island Treasures, Muster Days, and Southern Kings

Jack Holmes, managing partner of the
Southern Kingfish Association
and guest co-host Ed Griffith.
Heading “up island” to the Sandhurst Hotel and Suites, the venue for Friday’s show, was a real treat for show host Gary Guertin and guest co-host Ed Griffith. Nothing like a great drive along A-1-A knowing you have 17 miles of pristine beach on your starboard side and miles of the most diverse estuary in North America on your port side. No traffic lights, no neon, no strip malls. Just a barrier island the way it should be.

Friday’s show celebrated kingfish and Navy Seals, but first, we had Sandhurst Hotels and Suites General Manager Ryan O’Connor describe this great waterfront property. Check the property out the next time you are on the Treasure Coast, especially if you are a fishing enthusiast. Great rates, attentive service and this perfect location can be all yours, just minutes from the Fort Pierce Inlet.

The National Navy UDT-Seal Museum was next on the menu with retired Captain Michael Howard and the museums curator Ruth McSween. Truly a “one of a kind" museum, this St. Lucie County attraction should be on the list of everyone who wants an up close and personal look at one of our country’s most elite military groups. When you listen to the show, you’ll learn why the museum actually was built on North Hutchinson Island and lots more interesting facts about the museum's upcoming Muster Day, which is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the Treasure Coast.

Jack Holmes, managing partner of the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA), rounded out the show with lots of background about how the SKA grew from an “idea” to the largest saltwater tournament organization in the world! It’s a great story. You’ll even know why it’s a kingfish association and not a grouper or dolphin association (could have been!). Jack even shared what he feels will be the bait of choice for the SKA Championship. Not a participant?  No worries! There will be lots of action and excitement for spectators at the weigh-in.

As promised, here is the link to the USA Today’s “Reporters at Sea, Family Style” contest to cover the unveiling of the cruise ship ALLURE of the SEAS coming December 2010:  Good luck! It would be fantastic to have a Talkin' Tourism listener WIN!

Thanks for tuning in and for checking out the blog. We would love to hear your thoughts on the blog face-lift, and don’t forget to check out our sponsors and partners. Here's the audio link to the October 1 Talkin' Tourism. Enjoy!

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