Thursday, March 31, 2011

An Inlet in Peril, Disaster Tourism, and 15 Places Your Kids Should See Before 15

The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy of
For over 100 years, the St. Lucie Inlet has been a conduit of economic vitality for Martin County. Providing access to the Atlantic ocean, the St. Lucie Inlet invited growth and development of three distinct industries:  commercial fishing, sport fishing, and recreational boating. It also impacted ancillary businesses that rely on a healthy marine economy. Combined, these  industries play a significant role in the continued growth of tourism.

Since the St. Lucie Inlet is not a deep water port, Martin County has always struggled for funds to ensure the inlet's navigability. Like clock-work, shoaling of the inlet has once again become problematic. Economic conditions of the Treasure Coast region, state and nation are influencing the ability to obtain the funding to properly maintain this important resource.

Numerous solutions have been suggested, including one to do nothing. This week, Talkin’ Tourism will launch a series of conversations to help inform our listeners on the realities associated with this issue. John Smith, president of the Marine Industries of the Treasure Coast, along with Butch Bayley, owner of Sailfish Marina, will share their views and insight on the situation.

For the second time, the show will include a travelers book review: My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir, which has been re-released on the 100 anniversary of its initial publishing in 1911. This newly released edition is accompanied by the stunning images of award winning photographer Scott Miller. As a side note, John Muir was the founder of the Sierra Club. If you are into nature based tourism (or photography), you will want to learn more about this book.

With the Elliott Museum closing to prepare for the construction of the new museum, Talkin’ Tourism has found a a new “home” studio. Sailfish Marina, located on the Manatee Pocket, will be Radio Man and History Lady’s new broadcast location when not on the road. Thanks Butch and Jan for your southern hospitality!

Wondering about our other planned topics of conversation? How about atomic tourism (and that's not an early April Fool's joke), 15 places kids should see before they are 15 years old, Bahamas updates and lots more!  Don't miss the fun and adventure. Tune in this Friday morning (April 1) at 10:05 a.m. to WPSL 1590 AM or check out the live Internet stream of the show at

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tasty Nibbles, Comfort Food, Golf, Wine: What More Could you Ask For?

Well listeners, we did live up to the promised headline for Friday’s show—Fantasies, Wine and a Big Taste (for Tourism). Ensconced at the corner table of our newest show sponsor, Artichoke Café, we covered an escape to a fantasy island, an international wine tasting and a really big food “taste."

The third annual Escape to Fantasy Island event, slated for Saturday, April 9,  was covered in great detail by committee co-chair Tara Biek. If you had only one night to escape to a fantasy island, this is your opportunity! Justin Beard, of the United Way of Martin County covered the role of this non-profit organization in our community.

Adrienne Moore spared no details on the 25th Taste of Success International Wine Tasting and the great work done by Helping People Succeed.

And, Bill Bee CEO of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, served up a great appeitzer of what to expect at Martin County’s most well-attended food affair—The Big Taste—with the opportunity to play a round of golf beforehand in the Big Golf Tournament.

So, was the burning question—do these organizations market to short-term stay visitors [tourists]—answered? You will have to listen to the show to get that answer, but we can tell you that there were some pretty innovative ways revealed on how these agencies are getting the message out.

At the top of the show, Artichoke Café chef and owner Steve Feder gave our listeners the story on the success of his latest endeavor and the BIG word is that THEY ARE NOW OPEN FOR DINNER! Artichoke Café's menu is all about Steve’s interpretation of 'comfort food.' Take Talkin’ Tourism’s word for it, check it out soon!

The rest of the show covered topics such as fast ferries coming to the Bahamas coming soon, the first Caribbean Tsunami Test with 33 island nations participating, and what Treasure Coast tournament winning captain just won the Bacardi Rum Billfish Tournament, which took place recently in Port Lucaya, Grand Bahama.

If you missed the show, you can listen to it or download it here. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fantasies, Wine, and a Big Taste (for Tourism)

This week, Talkin Tourism will broadcast from a great eatery in Downtown Stuart—the Artichoke Café—which is  the show’s newest sponsor! We'll introduce you to Steve and Pam Feder, the owner/operators of this popular restaurant, and tell you more about their great menu and attention to dining excellance.

During 'the season,' the Treasure Coast social calendar is full of great events, which typically benefit local charitable organizations. Most of these are purposely scheduled during 'the season' to attract “valued seasonal residents,” as well as locals. Talkin’ Tourism is curious to find out if these events are indeed attended by Treasure Coast tourists, so we've invited a number of special guests who are involved in one of the major events on the horizon.

So, who'll be in the studio this week? Here's the line-up:

(1) Justin Beard and Tara Biek, representing the United Way of Martin County's Escape to Fantasy Island. Their event, although in its thrid year, is a relatively new one on the scene. Radio Man and Parrot Mom have attended in the past and it is a fabulous affair held on a tropical fantasy paradise in western Martin County.

(2) Bill Bee, the executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, will speak on behalf of The Big Taste (formerly known as The Taste of Martin County) and its accompanying Big Golf Tournament.

(3) Last, but certainly not least, Suzy Hutcheson representing Helping People Succeed’s 25th International Wine Tasting, will give us an idea of what wineries, restaurants and more are involved in this Treasure Coast tradition.

We will learn the real scoop of whether tourists flock to these events from the experienced event organizers themselves. Anyone want to wager a bet??

Looking at the broader tourism perspective,we'll provide an extensive update with happenings in the Islands of the Bahamas. Residents and visitors to South Florida are extremely fortunate to have such a beautiful island nation so close to our shores. No other state in the U.S. has such a beautiful tropical island nation so close to its shores. From fishing tournaments to eco-tourism opportunities, to diving and fun in the sun, Bahamas (FLAHAMA Fever) beckon those of us in Florida every spring, summer and beyond!

See you this Friday, March 25, on WPSL 1590 AM at 10:05 a.m. If you're out of radio range, you can still enjoy the fun by tuning in via computer at!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Celebrating a Leader in the Marine Industries

Well ladies and gentlemen, there certainly was a party at the end of Salerno Road last Friday and it was at Stuart Yacht! Celebrating their 40th anniversary, the Burdick’s (Gregg and Nancy) and their staff welcomed the Talkin’ Tourism team and their invited guests with great fanfare.

It was great to see many local marine industry representatives joining in the celebration. Soon after the studio was set up, guests began arriving to be part of the show and to wish Stuart Yacht another 40 years of continued success.

Owner Gregg Burdick spoke about many marine related items including: how the business started, his founding roles in the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast and the Maritime and Classic Boat Museum, his experience working for the Bahamas Telecommunications Company, and more. Gregg was initially a little taken aback by the preshow blog title ("There's a Party at the End of the World") but when he stopped for a second and thought about it, he realized it was fitting since mariners and yachtsmen from all over the world have come to take advantage of his company's personal service and quality craftsmanship.

Shifting gears from the past and into the present, our listeners were introduced to the new general manager, Dave Astras, who is no stranger to the boating industry. Dave has some very specific plans on growing the business beyond the local scene and developing a presence in the global marine economy. All this from the shores of the South Fork of the St. Lucie River.

We had the pleasure of having a few words with Jay Coyle, editor at large for Yachting Magazine, who has been a longtime customer of Stuart Yacht. Also, stepping in was Bill Astras, David’s father who has just retired from his 'day job.' Bill was a captain for Jim Smith Boats (which are built in Stuart) and fished many tournaments in the Bahamas (and beyond).

Besides a Bahamas updates and a mention of local weekend events of interest, this week the grand finale was a recap of the Top 10 Snorkeling Destinations in the Caribbean (according to Frommer’s).

Gregg and Nancy, the muffins and coffee were great, as was the Italian spread for lunch! Thanks a million for inviting Talkin' Tourism to be part of the celebration!

For those of you who missed last Friday's show, you can listen now by downloading the audio file here.

See you on Friday for another hour full of tourism facts, news, and more!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

There's a Party at the End of the World

Gregg and Nancy Burdick
Well, the title isn't entirely correct. The party isn't at the end of the world, but there is definitely one at the end of Salerno Road in Stuart, Florida. Stuart Yacht, a marine institution in Stuart, is celebrating its 40th anniversary of luxury yacht service to the boating community and Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond!) has been invited to the celebration!

The importance of marine tourism has been covered here from time-to-time. The waterways in Florida and “Beyond!” are the interstates and turnpikes of the boating world, as they were a century ago. Like automobiles, boats come in a vast variety of shapes, sizes, power and amenities. Maintaining, refitting, repowering or commissioning a vessel is a significant undertaking.

Among the featured guests scheduled to appear on this celebratory show are Gregg Burdick, a founding member of the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast and the Maritime and Classic Boat Museum, and Jay Coyle, editor at large for Yachting Magazine. Also making an appearance, will be Dave Astras, the newly appointed general manager of Stuart Yacht. Dave will share with our listeners his vision for moving this local marine mainstay into the global marine marketplace. Stuart Yacht, located on the Okeechobee Waterway/Cross Florida Canal, is well positioned to serve marine tourists venturing to Florida’s west coast or on to the Islands of the Bahamas.

With lots of guests invited who knows what celebraties might be in the studio audience!

In addition to our featured guests, Talkin’ Tourism’s regular event updates and Bahamas news will be included as well.

And, if you remember, last week we announced the Top 10 Beaches of the Caribbean. This time we're headed back to the Caribbean, but under the water, to announce the Top 10 Places in the Caribbean for a World Class Snorkeling Adventure.

We're looking forward to another fun- and information-filled show! Listeners on the Treasure Coast can catch the show Friday beginning at 10:05 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM; those outside of the broadcast area can listen to the live stream on the Internet at

"See you" Friday from the end of the road!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Grayton Beach, Barley Barber Swamp and the Caribbean

To all those who joined us for the show, thanks for tuning in. It was a super show with a Talkin’ Tourism first—reviewing a book. At the request of the publisher, Radio Man reviewed a new book in the "Gulf Coast Lit” genre entitled Grayton Beach Affair by author James Harvey. If you like action, romance and intrigue set in a 1940’s era gulf coast seaside town, Grayton Beach Affair should be on your summer reading list.

From there it was a lively and informative conversation with Treasure Coast Lands Foundation executive director Charles Barrowclough focusing on the unique beauty of Barley Barber Swamp. History Lady focused on the historical aspects of this environmental gem and Radio Man was very intrigued by the fact that the Barley Barber Swamp is now conducting guided tours. This is great for the promotion of tourism in western Martin County.

From swamp the show switched course and headed to the best beaches in the Caribbean. In case you saw the pre-show and  wondered which beaches in the Caribbean were rated as the best by Frommer’s…here is the list:

(10) Luquillo Beach—Puerto Rico
(9) Diamond Beach—Martinique
(8) Seven Mile Beach  —Negril, Jamaica
(7) Grand Anse Beach—Grenada
(6) Seven Mile Beach—Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
(5) Cane Garden Bay—Tortola, British Virgin Islands
(4) The Gold Coast—Barbados
(3) Palm Beach—Aruba
(2) Dickenson Bay—Antigua
and coming in at No.1, drum roll please, Shoal Bay—Anguilla.

Now, get out your maps of the Caribbean and begin plotting your course for good times!

Technology is grand; though sometimes it works, and sometimes it does not. Those of you who were planning to catch the show after-the-fact are in for a disappointment. Unfortunately, WPSL had a technical challenge on Friday, and only the first 20-minutes of the show were recorded. Please accept our apologies. Radio Man is now threatening to bring in his microcassette recorder. Talk about technical difficulties. If he could only figure out how to turn it on. Here's the link to the portion of audio that made the cut.

See you on Friday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Florida Swamps and the Top 10 Beaches of the Caribbean

There has been great excitement over the reopening of the Barley Barber Swamp, located in western Martin County, Florida. This pristine watershed, once a part of the vast Bald Cypress Forest, is a 450 acre parcel of land surrounded by Florida Power & Light’s Martin County power plant. Acquired in 1972 to build the power plant, the area was dedicated to be preserved and enhanced and served as a major eco-tourism attraction for many businesses located in Indiantown. After 9/11, the area was closed for security reasons. Florida Power & Light, and the Treasure Lands Foundation worked together to restore and now maintain the land for public enjoyment. Treasured Lands Foundation executive director Charles Barrowclough will join us this week to share with our listeners what impact this reopening has had on western Martin County and how it enhances the Treasure Coast as a tourism destination. It's hard for some of us to believe, but the park has 1,000-year-old trees and a whole lot more. Put on your back pack and lace up your hiking shoes for a great adventure in the Barley Barber Swamp!

After the swamp, we'll fly on over to the Caribbean. Radio Man and History Lady have packed their flip flops, beach towels, sun glasses and sunscreen to better judge the top Caribbean beaches of 2011. So, according to Frommer’s, which beach is number one:  Cane Garden Bay in the British Virgin Islands, Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman or Diamond Beach in Martinique?

All this and more on this week’s edition of Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond!). And, who knows, time permitting, we may even talk about the proposed idea of constructing golf courses in Florida state parks.

Tune your radio dial to WPSL 1590 AM or your Internet browser to on Friday at 10:05 a.m. for the fun, maybe a little controversy, and lots of real infotainment!

"Grayton Beach Affair" - A Talkin' Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast (and Beyond!) Book Review

On prior shows, the subject of Literary Tourism has come up.

Literary tourism is a type of cultural tourism related to events, places or fictional characters in books.

Literary tourists will travel to places where authors were born, where they lived, or are currently living.  Literary tourists also visit the destinations, restaurants, shops and other venues profiled in books to experience them first-hand.

This is a first for Talkin' Tourism--a book review. We accepted the assignment since it falls into the realm of literary tourism. Those who know Florida, will be transported back to the sleepy seaside town of Grayton Beach. Those who don't know Florida, will learn more about the southern flavor of the Gulf Coast.

Regardless of which category you fit in, if you are a literary tourist, it just might spur a visit to Grayton Beach to discover or rediscover the beach dunes, seaside restaurants, history and small town charm.


For those of you who love to visit Florida’s Gulf Coast, and even those who don’t, put the Grayton Beach Affair on your spring and summer reading lists.

Author James Harvey combines a romance and war story set in the 1940’s in the seaside town of Grayton Beach. Harvey paints a vivid picture of not only Florida’s panhandle, but also Paris, France and Germany during World War II and the French Résistance, interweaving espionage, suspense, sacrifice, survival, passion and romance.

Main characters Christian Wolfe and Maggie Neal meet accidently during a stateside German prisoner of war rescue effort. Although their interlude in Grayton Beach is short, it sets the stage for a love that is rekindled post-war near Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia.

Grayton Beach Affair is a quick and easy read, and combines elements that will appeal to both women and men. Harvey captures the southern and Florida small town beachside cultures perfectly.

Grayton Beach Affair will join the collection of Florida-themed books in our personal library.

Keep those Florida-based novels coming Mr. Harvey.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

April Events You Don't Want to Miss!

Don't forget to mark your calendars for these great signature Martin County events in April:
These are still a few weeks off, but don't delay, buy your tickets (or sign up your golf foursomes) today!


Good Art and Surfing Vibrations on the Treasure Coast

Last Friday’s show was billed as a show that would explain and verify the fact that destinations with a strong commitment to arts and culture, benefit from the investment in the form of increased tourism. To illustrate that very point, Radio Man shared statistics on Canada’s commitment to arts and culture, which were pretty amazing. The Green Party of Canada, the government’s investment of $7.7 billion, generated $40 billion for the Canadian economy—a return on investment of 500%! 

Nancy Turrell, the executive director of The Arts Council of Martin County, was equally passionate about the importance of art and cultural tourism for the U.S. economy as well. Narrowing it down a little closer to home, Nancy talked about next weekend's ArtsFest, the 24th annual festival, and clarified what makes this art-centric event unique from the others along the Treasure Coast.

From the early days, surfing has always been about the search for “the perfect wave." The Endless Summer (released in 1964), was a classic film portraying surfers who traveled the world in search of the ultimate wave. These travels by adventurous young surfers, opened up exotic tropical paradises to a broader market of tropical adventure escapes and experiences. Ohana Surf Shop owner Jordan Schwartz could not agree more with that statement. The upcoming Single Fin Showdown, which will benefit the United Way of Martin County, will bring surfing enthusiasts from across Florida for this fun “retro” event. Whether you are a surfing enthusiast or not, most of us have been touched by surf culture in one way or another.

So listeners, wax your board, jump into your woodie and head on down to the closest arts show or surfing competition. If you need some inspiration, download last week's show. Before you know it, you'll be humming a Beach Boy's tune, hanging ten, or painting flowers on your car! See you on Friday for another hour filled show loaded with tourism information from near and far that you won't want to miss!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Arts, Culture and Hanging Ten!

Chase Roberts cuts back on a wave during the 2010
Stuart Single Fin Showdown. Photo credit: Dick Hall.
There are many attributes that help define the marketability of a tourist destination. Among the most notable of these is a destination’s commitment to arts and culture. Some of the keybenefits of a strong arts and cultural component to a destination and community are:

(1) it generates clean industries;
(2) proliferates small enterprises;
(3) increases people’s pride in the place they live; and
(4) supports the tourism industry and improves the quality of life for residents.

Drilling down to the local level, Nancy Turrell, executive director of The Arts Council, will be in the studio to provide her thoughts on cultural tourism and share with listeners all the nitty gritty on the upcoming ArtsFest, which is produced by the Arts Council. Joining Nancy for this conversation will be Thomas Winter, the award-winning photographer, who is the festival's featured artist this year.

From arts and culture to surfing culture? Absolutely! We’ll bridge this gap with Ohana Surf Shop owner/operator Jordan Schwartz. On the very same weekend as ArtsFest, the third annual Single Fin Showdown surfing contest, which benefits the United Way of Martin County, will be taking place on Stuart Public Beach. A unique event among surf contests, in which competitors use 1970's era vintage surf boards, this competition will bring surfer dudes and dudettes from around Florida. Surfing tourism you ask? Cowabunga! Surfing and the surf culture has had an enormous role in the migration of enthusiasts to the coast and to destinations around the world in search of that perfect wave. Radio Man is looking forward to this conversation!

So, lots of art, culture and hanging ten are in store for you this week, along with the latest tourism info on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond!).

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