Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Small island(s), big time fun: Welcome to The Bimini's!

Talkin’ Tourism will be ending 2011 and beginning 2012 on a high note as we broadcast live from South Bimini, Bahamas this Friday morning. Bimini Sands Resort and Marina located on South Bimini is hosting the Talkin’ Tourism Team for their great New Year’s Eve Weekend celebration. While Bimini (made up of two islands North and South Bimini) is one of the smaller islands of the Bahamas, it makes up in spirit what it may lack in size. The closest Bahama island to the U.S. mainland, Bimini will be celebrating the arrival of the new year in style. Fireworks displays, Junkanoo rushout, parties galore, and just a plain ol’ good island time will be enjoyed by all. Celebrating the close tourism relationship between the Islands of the Bahamas and Florida could not be a more fitting way to usher out the old year and welcome in the new.

In addition to showcasing all the amenities Bimini Sands Resort and Marina has to offer its guests, show hosts Robin Hicks-Connors and Gary Guertin will be welcoming representatives from the Bimini Tourism Office, and other key notables from the island. From the mysterious Bimini Roads, to the legendary Ernest Hemingway legacy, Fountain of Youth, and the rum running era, to fabulous fishing and diving, we will entice you to make your plans for a Bimini get-away real soon.

So let Talkin’ Tourism take you on a Bahamas island get-away this Friday morning. Join us as we come to you live from Bimini Sands Resort and Marina, South Bimini, Bahamas!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Boat Shows, marine tourism, and community waterfront festivals

Jim Dragseth, Tom Kilcourse, April Price, John
Hennessee and Robin Hicks-Connors
talkin' tourism on the docks at Sailfish Marina.
Guests Tom Kilcourse and Jim Dragseth did an outstanding job describing the importance of the approaching 38th annual Stuart Boat Show to the tourism industry in Martin County and the Treasure Coast.  One of the longest running events in the area, the Stuart Boat Show certifiably attracts visitors from near and far putting 'heads in beds'. This land and 'sea' display show is considered one of the best and has been described as the Goldilocks of boat shows:  not too big, not too small, just right.

One attribute shared by Jim Dragseth as to why the marine industries, and events such as the Stuart Boat Show, are such a vital part of our area’s economy is because Stuart is blessed with such great waterways.  Boat Show Committee Chairman Tom Kilcourse described the activities and the exhibitors who will help make the show a great family affair.  This is definitely one event to put on your January “to do list”.

John Hennessee, the chairman of the Port Salerno Neighborhood  Advisory Committee, and April Price, events coordinator for the Port Salerno Seafood Festival, dropped by the studio to give listeners a sneak peak of what is in store for this year’s festival, which takes place on January 28th.  Celebrating six years, this event draws over 30,000 attendees to the working waterfront town of Port Salerno.  More to come on the Seafood Festival in the coming weeks.

Here's one of the boys---Jim Dragseth, Gary Guertin
and Tom Kilcourse.
The Bimini Islands are THE place to be this New Year’s Eve. Talkin' Tourism hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors reviewed the great happenings scheduled on both North and South Bimini this coming New Year's weekend and if you listened to the show, you’ll agree that there is definitely a party going on.  Talkin’ Tourism will be broadcasting live from Bimini Sands Resort and Marina on Friday morning. If you can't join us on island for all the fun, then definitely tune in Friday morning to learn more about Bimini and why this is destination is one you shouldn't miss.

Here's last week show for those of you who might of missed it or for those who want to listen in again.

See you Friday from Bimini!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Boat shows and a big New Year's celebration on a tiny island

In just three weeks, the 38th Annual Stuart Boat Show will be attracting boaters, marine enthusiasts and exhibitors from across Florida and beyond to the Treasure Coast. Billed by producer AllSports Productions as the largest boat show between Annapolis, Maryland and West Palm Beach. The Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast (MIATC) owned show is a perennial crowd pleaser offering something for everyone.

This week, Tom Kilcourse of Merritt Supply and Stuart Boat Show Committee Chairman, along with Jim Dragseth, the president of legendary Whiticar Boat Works and MIATC board member, will be in the studio to share with listeners all of the exciting details (over 500 boats and $100 million in products on display) of the show. Rumor has it there will be vintage boats on display, a simulated fishing tournament for the kids, and a whole lot more.

What will be the hottest Bahama Island to be on this New Year’s Eve?  It may be closer than you think and there is still time to make plans to join the fun. We'll have all the details for you!

It is hard to believe that we are closing out another year of Talkin’ Tourism.  The journey has been fantastic and we thank all of our listeners and sponsors for their support. From our remote broadcasts from the Bahamas, locations around the Treasure Coast and our home studio at Sailfish Marina, we continue to explore how important tourism is to our economy and quality of life.  Thank you for the opportunity to share our passion.

From the Talkin’ Tourism team, we wish you Happy Holidays and a healthy and Happy New Year!

Sailfish Splash, a passport tip and "an island in the stream"

Talkin' Tourism co-host Robin Hicks-Connors with
Craig Anderson on the docks of Sailfish Marina.
According to Martin County Parks and Recreation Coordinator Craig Anderson, both locals and visitors will soon be splishing and splashing in Martin County’s newest water-themed attraction.

Sailfish Splash Waterpark, set to open mid-March, will serve both the recreational aquatics and competitive swimming markets. So, what amenities will make up the recreational side of the attraction?  Craig was pretty excited about the four-story tall water slide and a few other cool and innovative water features. On the sports tourism side of things Craig has very high expectations of competitive swim teams coming to Martin County to take advantage of the state of the art facility. Should County government be in the business of running a business?  Craig had some pretty interesting things to say. Season passes to Splash Water Park are now on sale and could be a great holiday stocking stuffer!

Following the water park banter, Robin and Gary listed some of the do’s and don’ts for visitors (and locals) in Martin County?

Craig Anderson and Talkin' Touism host Gary Guertin.
Next, a little passport talk. Is your's ready to expire? Robin shared an interesting experience that occurred to a friend of her's who traveled to Costa Rica. If you heard the story, bet you checked on the expiration date of your passport!  If you missed the show, and want to know why this is important, we've got you covered! You can download the  it here.

And, how is the St. Lucie County Tourism Development Council working with Westwood High School in Ft. Pierce?  If you missed this week's show, we've got you covered! You can download the December 16 show here.

As always, Talkin' Tourism covered a lot of ground in one hour, including the latest standings in local sailfish tournaments and where the Talkin' Tourism crew will be broadcasting on the eve of New Year's Eve! Hint—azure water, beautiful beaches, friendly people, lots of fun and a great fireworks extravaganza on an tiny island in 'the stream!'

See you on Friday, and please remember to thank a visitor for helping to keep the Treasure Coast green!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Soon to come to Martin County, FL: A BIG splash!

For a relatively small destination, Martin County, Florida has a multitude of nature based attractions. In just a few short weeks, an attraction that civic and community leaders hope will be a unique tourism magnet and great asset to the community that is not quite “natural” will open for business. The attraction—Sailfish Splash Waterpark—will cater to the aquatic pleasure of both locals and visitors.

It would be somewhat of an understatement to say this project was not without some controversy in this time of economic challenge. Nevertheless, the Martin County Parks and Recreation Department has embraced this project and is moving forward with very exciting plans. In addition to general aquatic recreation, the Sailfish Splash Waterpark will also serve as a competitive swimming and diving venue. Vision for the complex include attracting teams to from around the state and across the U.S. This could be a big boost for sports tourism in the area. 

To help put the project in better perspective, joining show hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors this week is Craig Anderson, Martin County Parks and Recreation department's newly hired marketing coordinator. Craig will bring our listeners up to speed on this multi-million dollar investment and discuss how the complex will help enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. 

Besides Sailfish Splash Waterpark, a rundown of the official results from the recent sailfish tournaments, will be included, as well as information on the the next leg of the series. St. Lucie County tourism updates are also on the list, several tips on things to remember when visiting Martin County, and Gary and Robin just might reveal what international destination will be hosting the Talkin' Tourism show and crew the Friday before New Year's. After hearing the details, you just might want to book reservations too and join the crew for New Year's celebration you'll always remember.

The show will be back at its home studio overlooking the Manatee Pocket at Sailfish Marina. See you on the docks! The fun begins at 10:05 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM or streaming live over the Internet at

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

World-Class Marine Anchorage Attracts Artists and Boaters from Around the Globe

The beautiful venue of Sunset Bay Marina & Anchorage: a
destination attracting boaters from around the globe.
The broadcast from Sunset Bay Marina & Anchorage was a perfect way to acknowledge the importance of our valued seasonal boaters who frequent the Treasure Coast. Harbormaster Buzz Billue set the stage early in the show by sharing Stuart's early maritime history when it served the marine trades and supply lines and eventually becoming a recreational boating destination. Sunset Bay Marina’s transition from an anchorage to a first-class marina is a welcomed evolution. 

In addition to Buzz, also sharing the spotlight were several valued seasonal boaters, including Ken Trepagnier and Dick Harding, who shared how they discovered Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Despite coming from different backgrounds, they both share a passion and love for the Treasure Coast. 

Ken Trepagnier, Nancy Turrel, Judy "JP" Nichols,
and Dick Harding combined the topics of marine tourism
and marine art for this week's episode of Talkin' Tourism.
Rusty Hightower, with Massey Yacht Sales and Service, also had high praise for the marina and Stuart area. The point was very well made that marine tourism is a very important part of the area’s tourism product. Pulling it all together, John Smith, representing the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast (MIATC), explained how the organization works to keep the marine industry strong and vibrant.

Marinas and art do go hand-in-hand as pointed out by Nancy Turrell and Judy “JP” Nichols. Waterfront Wednesdays at Sunset Bay Marina, organized by the Arts Council of Martin County, is attracting marine artists from as far away as the Abaco’s (David Albury the famed model boat builder) to this great waterfront community event. Marine tourism? You better believe it! With as many slips as there are hotel rooms in Martin County, marine tourism is certainly a tourism component to acknowledge and to continue to promote. 

Here's the audio file to the December 9 episode of Talkin' Tourism to bring you up to speed on marine tourism, waterfront art events, and a whole lot more!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Treasure Coast: A Boating Mecca

Sunset Bay Marina & Anchorage, Stuart, FL
PHOTO CREDIT: Sailblogs/svearendil
A drive around the Treasure Coast waterfront will attest to the fact that our valued seasonal boaters have returned en mass for another season. With so many miles of shoreline along the North and South Fork of the St. Lucie River, the wide Indian River Lagoon stretching the length of the Treasure Coast, and the Okeechobee Waterway/Cross Florida Canal connecting Florida’s West Coast to the East Coast, it is no wonder the Treasure Coast is a boating mecca.

This week we will broadcast live from Sunset Bay Marina and Anchorage in Stuart, Florida. Featured in this week’s show will be Buzz Billue, the Sunset Bay Marina harbour master, who has a legendary history along the Treasure Coast waterfront, as well as John Smith, the president of the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast (MIATC). Among the topics discussed will be the importance of marine tourism to the Treasure Coast, how can we continue to enhance our region as a boating destination, and the importance of the Islands of the Bahamas as a destination for many Treasure Coast boaters.

What does art have to do with marine tourism? Well, Judy “JP” Nichols, waterfront coordinator for the Arts Council of Martin County, along with the Council's executive director Nancy Turrell, will be in the studio to promote the Arts Council’s newest art celebration, Waterfront Wednesdays at Sunset Bay Marina. In addition to our main topics, we will also update listeners on the sailfish tournament season, what recent tournament set another record, what’s new in the Bahamas and around the Treasure Coast, and more.

See you on the docks Friday morning at 10:05! You can catch the show on your radio at WPSL 1590 AM or from your computer at Can you smell the salt air already?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Made New Year's plans yet? If not, check out this Bimini fireworks extravaganza.

Talkin' Tourism show hosts Gary and Robin touched upon Bimini Sands Resort & Marina on last week's show and mentioned the resort's annual New Year's Eve pyrotechnics show, plus the great winter all-inclusive vacation package,which covers everything from luxury villa accommodations, a free slip for boat owners, on site resort activities, all meals, and even adult libations. AND, there are no blackout dates, even over the holidays.

Here's a link for more information. If you decide to book, tell them Talkin' Tourism sent you!

Bimini Sands Resort & Marina 4th Annual New Year's Eve Fireworks Extravaganza.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday travel, sailfish bites, and Florida's top destinations for Christmas travel

Show host Gary Guertin with
AAA Auto Club South  travel
representative Gary Smith.
The studio was jumping with activity Friday morning. Upon arrival, show host and co-producer Gary Guertin discovered the “committee boat” (the radio location where tournament sailfish catches are recorded )  for the Pirates Cove Sailfish Classic was three feet from the broadcast desk as the first day of fishing was underway—surprise! Unlike the slow bite experienced the week before during the Finest Kind Quickie tournament, indications before showtime (with 30 releases since 8 a.m.) was the sailfish bite had picked up considerably. One hour later, just as Talkin' Tourism was wrapping up, the total had grown to 46! Thanks for the mid-show on-air update Committee Boat Capt. Beth.

Moving to the main topic, special guest Gary Smith, a travel representative with AAA Auto Club South, jumped in providing lots of great holiday travel information. There is no doubt that despite the tough economy, millions of people will be taking to the highways, byways and skyways during the holiday season. 

First up was the importance of driver safety and the Tow to Go Program, which is a  partnership between AAA and Budweiser. This program has definitely made an impact on driver and roadway safety. Gary Smith also educated show hosts and guest on the current complexity of air travel, baggage fees challenges, cruise opportunities, great places to visit in Florida during the holidays, and a whole lot more. 

Other sidebars included: (1) the top three wishes of holiday travelers; (2) what inconveniences travelers will endure to save money; and, (3) what Florida cities were in HomeAway's top five (of ten) list for Christmas travel (and guess what, co-host Robin Hicks-Connors has seen them all!).

Hope you enjoyed another informative and entertaining edition of Talkin' Tourism. If you missed the show, no worries! You can listen to or download the December 2 Talkin' Tourism show here.

See you next Friday!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Travel wise--It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

With the holidays here, the topic on a lot of peoples minds is certainly holiday travel. By land, sea or air, people will be heading off to see family and friends or to take a great holiday vacation. Millions around the world will become tourists, at least for a little while.

To explore holiday travel in more detail, this week  AAA Auto Club South Travel Specialist Gary Smith will join us in the studio. What will we cover? For starters here are a few topics---How far on average will people be traveling by car? Will the price of gas have an impact on the number of people traveling this year? What about airline prices? 

With so many people traveling by car, Gary Smith will also discuss AAA Auto Club South’s Driver Safety Program. The Treasure Coast certainly attracts its share of holiday visitors. What activities and events are in store for visitors planning to spend time on the Treasure Coast? This should be an information packed show for those planning to hit the road this holiday season and even for those choosing to stay closer to home.

With the sailfish tournament season underway, Talkin’ Tourism is following the results of this Treasure Coast tradition. With the Finest Kind Quickie now in the history books, the Treasure Coast Championship Series is gearing up for kick-off. Do you know what winning boat has ties to the Bahamas Billfish Championship? Listen in today and you will learn all about those amazing Flahama connections.

See you later this morning (Friday, December 2) at 10:05 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM or streaming live at

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