Monday, August 30, 2010

Indiantown Marine and Tourism Updates, and Art in the Pocket!

Heading out west last Friday was lots of fun.  While we did not ride any horses or go bass fishing, we did find out from Scott Watson that there is lots going on 'out there,' including nature tours, hiking, biking, photo safaris, fresh water largemouth bass fishing. Western Martin County is truly an “outdoorsman’s paradise” as described by outdoor writer Dan Bryan.

Scott provided listeners with a little history of the Indiantown Marina and described the important role it has played in the development of Indiantown.  Being located so far from the coast, one would be surprised at the marine activity that takes place at the marina.  What was surprising to show host Gary Guertin (and perhaps some listeners), was the number of sailboats that are stored at the Indiantown Marina during hurricane season versus the number of power boats.  The Treasure Coast is not known as a “sailing mecca” so the conversation included why this is the case.

Keeping with the marine theme, Gary, c0-host Robin Hicks-Connors and Scott also talked at length about the importance of the Cross Florida Canal/Okeechobee Waterway and the unique position this places Stuart in. It's a real competitive advantage!  This might help influence the proposal for a fee-based U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at Witham Field. Listeners, do you think this be of benefit to the boating community? Gary, Robin and Scott share their opinions during the show.

At the top of the show, events promoter Lindsay Nickerson shared her contagious enthusiasm on the Port Salerno Arts Show, which is held the last Sunday of every month.  Some folks in the know say Port Salerno evolving into the “arts colony” of Martin County.  It will if Lindsay and some of her associates have anything to say about it!  Lindsay has lots in store to make it more fun. Listen in to hear the plans. 

As always, thanks for tuning in. 'See you' next week, Friday, September 3 at 10 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM or on the web at for another hour packed with tourism tidbits from around the Treasure Coast and beyond!

Here's last week's show. Don't forget you can subscribe to Talkin' Tourism podcasts via iTunes. And, if you're not already following us on Facebook, check out our page and please share the link with your friends!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Catchin' a Seahorse Bound for the West

This week, Radio Man and History Lady are strapping on their jeans, saddling up their seashorses (or maybe sea ponies), and takin' western. Western Treasure Coast that is. 

The western area of the Treasure Coast, over by Lake Okeechobee, is also a part of that Great State of Mind, FLAHAMA.  This week Allon Fish, president and CEO of the Indiantown Chamber of Commerce, will update listeners and fans about what is new for visitors and locals away from the coast.  Airplane rides at Indiantown Airport, bass fishing in Lake Okeechobee, hiking in the Barley Barber Swamp, swamp buggy tours and Sunday Brunch at the Seminole Inn, and it doesn't stop there! All are different from the experiences enjoyed on the Atlantic coast.

Also in the studio will be Scott Watson, owner/operator of the Indiantown Marina.  What's a major marina doing away from the coast?  That’s a good question! Well Scott has this rather important canal, the Okeechobee Waterway and Cross Florida Canal, which passes right through his backyard. What makes the Treasure Coast, and specifically Martin County, such a unique destination is truly the fact that you can cross through the central part of the State of Florida from the west coast to the east coast, pass through the world famous Lake Okeechobee and exit the east coast at Stuart, Florida.   

What's even more amazing is that both boating enthusiasts and non-boaters do not know this.  Scott will share his ideas on how we can promote this asset.

Strap on your boots and join us on Friday at 10 a.m. (WPSL 1590 AM or  for more infotainment and fun!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This Week, Three P's Took Center Stage---Pineapples, Pirates and (air) Planes

Gary and Robin were reunited this week back at the Elliott Museum “studio". Eventhough the crew was home, the show could not get into gear without first recapping the Talkin' Tourism adventures on Eleuthera last week. Without question Robin will be going to Eleuthera sometime soon as she continues her quest for exotic sportfishing locations. Right Robin?

Having gotten past the Eleutheran adventures Radio Man and History Lady launched in to this week’s show by introducing Mike Roberts, president of the Road To Victory Military Museum. Certainly Robin had lots to say as she IS the CEO of the Elliott Museum! The big news was Mike’s conversation about the upcoming Stuart Air Show, which the Road to Victory Museum is now commanding. Mike shared some interesting facts on what his group will be doing to inject some new activities into the very popular weekend event. It’s pretty cool stuff!

Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ron Rose was not shy about sharing what he feels makes the Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival such a great success. Now in its 23rd year, the event will also mark the 20th anniversary of the “Sister City” relationship the town of Jensen Beach, Florida shares with Gregory Town, Eleuthera. Besides talking about the entertainment line-up, Ron gave details on the Bahamian Marketplacewhether event goers can expect a Junkanoo rush-out.

If you can swagger, and talk like a pirate, the Treasure Coast Pirate Fest may be just the event for you and your family. More about this popular event, which is in it's third year, in the show.

Here's the link to download or listen the audio file of this week's show. See you in a week for another action-packed hour of Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast (and Beyond)!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pirates, Planes, Pineapples and Party!

As we begin to approach autumn, the calendar begins to fill quite rapidly with events and festivals for enjoyment by locals and visitors alike. Not wanting to get behind the proverbial eight-ball, this week Radio Man and History Lady talk fun, fun and more fun.

Back from Eleuthera, (be sure to check  out the Free Companion Airfare promotion) Radio Man and Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond) would be remiss if we did not talk about the Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival. Slated this year for November 5-7, this year’s event marks te festival's 23rd anniversary and 20th anniversary of the Sister City relationship with Gregory Town, Eleuthera, home of the original Pineapple Festival. Ron Rose, executive director of the Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce, will discuss planned highlights for this year’s event.

One of the most popular events over the last ten years has been the Stuart Air Show, whose lead sponsor had been the Visiting Nurses Association of Florida. The big change this year is that the Road to Victory Military Museum is now the lead sponsor. This year’s dates are November 13-14. What, if any, changes are in store this year for this fabulous event?

The Treasure Coast would not be the “Treasure Coast” if it were not for our history of pirates, blunder and wenches. The Treasure Coast Pirate Fest, will be sailing into Downtown Stuart, Florida September 10-12. This festival will certainly please every scallywag, buccaneer, privateer and matey.

Like music? Ron Hart, the self-appointed Cultural Ambassador to Downtown Stuart, will share his excitement about “Rockin’ Riverwalk” coming in October for the winter season.

Tune your radio dial to WPSL 1590 or your computer's browser to at 10 a.m. for Treasure Coast fun and more on this week’s episode of Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond).

Pineapples, Conch, Blue Flag Marinas, and Gin Clear Waters

Last week, host Gary Guertin and special guest co-host Ed Griffith literally made a splash in South Eleuthera.  No, not the “cannonball kind," but the kind that gets everyone involved buzzing about a great time and wonderful experiences.  

From the luxury of Cape Eleuthera Resort and Yacht Club, Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond) really connected with the best of the best of the Bahamas tourism efforts.  

Leading a long list of Eleuthera tourism officials and stakeholders, Director General Vernice Walkine opened with remarks on behalf of the Bahamas.  Her comments were as warm and bright as the Bahamian sun.  Getting to the main topic of the day General Manager of Sustainable Tourism Earlston McPhee and Blue Flag Programme Administrator Leon Gibson along with Cape Eleuthera Resort General Manager Steve Kappeler gave an excellent overview of the Blue Flag Programme and what it means to the Ministry, but  most importantly to the marine environment. 

Moving on from there, guests Tommy Sands, owner of the Cotton Bay development, Shaun Ingraham, president of the Rotary Club of Eleuthera, provided insightful comments on the state of tourism in South Eleuthera and what the future may hold.  What was the consensus?  You will want to listen to find out.

And for Treasure Coast connections there was a host of them, not to mention the 20 year old Sister City partnership between Gregory Town, Eleuthera and our very own Jensen Beach, Florida.  Co-host Ed Griffith was greeted like a rock star at the Governor’s Harbour Airport much to Radio Man’s surprise. Could Ed become the FLAHAMIAN Ambassador to Eleuthera?  Future shows may tell!

Click on the audio file and take a mini-vacation to the beautiful Bahamian island of Eleuthera…and don’t forget your favorite boat drink. A link to the podcast for viewing on your computer or iPad/iPhone and photos of Eleuthera and the show's guests, can be found below.

See you next week! And don't miss out on the Bahamas Out-Island Companion Fly's Free promotion.

Subscribe to Talkin' Tourism's podcasts on the iTunes Store. If you don't have an iTunes account, here's the link to our Eleuthera remote Blip TV podcast:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blue Flag marinas and the beautiful island of Eleuthera!

Kayak in Eleuthera. Photo credit: ACT Productions
This week, Talkin' Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond) continues its quest to seek more and more “connections” between the Islands of the Bahamas and our own Treasure Coast region.  For the first time, show host Gary Guertin and guest co-host Ed Griffith will be broadcasting live from Eleuthera, Bahamas.  

At the request of Earlston McPhee, General Manager of the Bahamas Ministry’s Sustainable Tourism Department, this week’s show will present the country’s participation in the Blue Flag Programme.  Similar to the Clean Marina/Boatyard Program in the U.S.A., the Blue Flag Programme promotes environmental “best practices” for the country’s marinas and beaches, as well as individual boat owners/users.  Cape Eleuthera Resort and Yacht Club is one of three marinas in the Bahamas currently certified as a Blue Flag marina.  General Manager Stephen Kappeler will share with listeners the criteria for certification and what this means for his operation.  He will also describe for listeners the amenities of this fabulous location.  Also scheduled for a guest appearance is Vernice Walkine, Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

Gary and Ed are looking forward to meeting local tourism stakeholders in South Eleuthera and talking about how they see their tourism product developing in the future.  As listeners have come to learn, there are always Treasure Coast “connections” to be uncovered while on the road.  What will be uncovered this week?  You're going to have to tune in to find out. 

Yes fans, the Treasure Coast and the Islands of the Bahamas have lots in common when it comes to similarities in our tourism promotional efforts efforts.  Join us as we continue to explore these opportunities and adventures.

See you this Friday at 10 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM (or on the web at from Cape Eleuthera Resort and Yacht Club!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Customs & Immigration coming to Stuart?

MIATC's John Hennessey and Galaxy Aviation's David Smith
with Talkin' Tourism's Robin Hicks-Connors.
Could it really happen?  

Something that the boating industry in the Stuart area has been talking about for years? A concept that is so straight-forward and simple, it just plain makes sense and the bonus it could be a boost to marine tourism in our Martin County area?

Yes, listeners, this week’s show guests, David Smith, general manager of Galaxy Aviation-Stuart, and Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast Board of Directors member John Hennessey, discussed the plans to propose to the Martin County Board of County Commissioners the development of a fee-based U.S. Customs and Immigration Office to be located at Witham Field in Stuart.  

This is not a new idea. Boaters in this area (as well as the many Stuart, Florida based private aircraft who frequent the Islands of the Bahamas) have lamented for decades over the requirement to clear back into the U.S.A. at either Ft. Pierce or Palm Beach, not Stuart.  While to those who aren't boaters or aviators who travel back and forth to the Bahamas, this might not appear as a major inconvenience, but this “missing link” could just result in increased tourism for our area.  One important aspect is the fact that Stuart lies at the eastern end of the Cross Florida Canal/Okeechobee Waterway, a main thoroughfare between Florida’s West Coast and East Coast.  With the St. Lucie Inlet being the inlet of choice for thousands of vessels each year heading for and returning from the Bahamas, the ability to clear back into the U.S. here in Stuart just makes sense.  To get all the info on this proposal, click and listen to this week’s audio file.

With Radio Man having spent a couple of days on Grand Bahama last week, you'll also find out what famous, award-winning Bahamian “personality” grew up in Ft. Pierce, and much more on this week’s show.  

See you next week from Cape Eleuthera Resort and Yacht Club with another live remote from the Islands of the Bahamas.

Fee-Based Customs & Border Protection Facility Movement

One of the frustrations of boaters returning from the Bahamas to the Stuart /Martin County area forever has been the requirement of having to go to north or south to clear U.S. Customs and Immigration.  Recent statistics acquired from the Bahamas Customs and Immigration authorities has determined that Martin County, Florida is, if not number one, in the top three departure points for vessels headed across the Gulf Stream bound for the Bahamas.  Presently, all vessels returning from the Bahamas MUST check back into the country by clearing U.S. Customs in Ft. Pierce or Palm Beach.  This has historically placed a burden on returning boaters, particularly those from Florida’s west coast, who depart from the St. Lucie Inlet after crossing the state through the Okeechobee Waterway/Cross Florida Canal.

This week’s show, featuring David Smith, general manager of Galaxy Aviation-Stuart, and John Hennessey, board member of the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast, will shed light on a proposed plan to establish a fee-based customs and border protection facility at Witham Field in Stuart.  We'll discuss the research, Martin County's key role as a departure and return point for boaters returning from "Florida's Out Islands," whether or not boaters would be willing to pay for a fee-based service, and how a fee-based customs and border office might enhance marine-related tourism on the Treasure Coast.

Radio Man just returned from another diplomatic mission to the Bahamas.  He'll let you know what's new on Grand Bahama. And, Robin “History Lady” Hicks-Connors has been busy making things happen in the world of museums. Was fishing involved? 

Looks like another live remote from the Bahamas is in the works. Listeners will learn where the radio duo will soon be headed and more! Don’t miss this week’s show for fun, entertainment and tourism talk! 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bonefish, Golf Balls, & Outdoorsmen

Well fans, for the first time in her capacity of co-host, History Lady (Robin Hicks-Connors) gave the fishing report for Bimini!  Ed Killer, you'd better watch your back!

Bonefish, permit chasing, mutton snapper and rays were on History Lady's list of flats fishing targets and boy did she have things to say about Bonefish Ebbie…(all good).  Thanks Robin!

After reminiscing about last week’s show broadcast from North Bimini, Robin and Gary got down to business and had a wonderful chat with Bob Baldassari, the general manager of PGA Villages located in Pot St. Lucie, Florida. 

Always comfortable on the microphone, Bob shared all kinds of great info on what is happening at PGA Village.  Here's a  couple of points he covered that you'll want to know: what the golf industry has done to survive today’s economy and whether you can just play one hole and “call it a day." Most importantly, Bob provided the details about an upcoming Labor Day Weekend event that all golfers will want to participate in!  Last, we know that Radio Man (Gary) is a Yankee, so where does Bob hail from and what does he have in common with Harvard Yard (pahk the cah in Hahvad Yahd)?

Outdoor and Nature VISIT Florida “Insider” Kevin Mims poked around Martin County just long enough to make an appearance on the show.  A freelance writer, blogger, photographer and videographer, Kevin was here on a mission to get an overview of what hiking, biking and paddling adventures could be found here on the Treasure Coast.  He only scratched the surface on this visit and will have to come back. Martin County's opportunities had him on overload!  

This week's show was full of fun, accented with "infotainment," "edutainment" and "sportstainment" for all.

Here's the audio file to the show...enjoy!
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