Monday, February 28, 2011

Baseball Spring Training an Economic Plus for St. Lucie County (and Beyond)

Whether you are an avid baseball fanatic or a someone who just watches a game from time to time, it’s hard not to get a major case of spring training fever while broadcasting a radio show from high above Digital Domain Park on the day before the spring season opener. Just after Talkin' Tourism hosts Robin Hicks-Connors and Gary Guertin had finished setting up the broadcast equipment, the New York Mets came out onto the field to practice before the scheduled afternoon scrimmage. The lead off guest, St. Lucie Mets general manager Paul Taglieri, was not at a loss for words in describing the excitement surrounding opening day.

Paul, Robin and Gary covered many related topics during the conversation including; the growth of attendance over the years, how the recent capital investments at the stadium have created an overall improved experience for players, team management, support staff and most importantly the in-game experience for the fans. A very significant amount of St. Lucie County’s tourist tax dollars is dedicated to the stadium and its operation. So, is this investment providing dividends?

Jill Hanson, Paul Taglieri and Cecelia DeFilippis talkin'
spring training tourism.
Jill Hanson, the director of sales at the Residence Inn Port St. Lucie and a member of the St. Lucie Tourist Development Council, was not shy in her response. Hotel occupancy numbers tell the story in her view. Having never stayed at a Residence Inn, Gary and Robin were surprised at the incredible values offered at her property. How much of a value? Once you listen to the show you just may want to check in for a few weeks!

In addition to Paul and Jill, Cecelia DeFilippis a self-proclaimed baseball addict and director of development at the Elliott Museum joined Radio Man and History Lady in the broadcast booth. Cecelia told listeners about a unique partnership between Treasure Coast artists and the Treasure Coast Little League Association. To hear more about this collaboration (and so much more), listen to last Friday’s Talkin' Tourism show here.

Okay, Treasure Coast…let's play ball!
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