Friday, January 27, 2012

Up, Up and My Beautiful Balloon!

A lot is going on in the world of tourism for this week’s show. Want to get “up in the world”?  We do, so this week we will meet Deborah Mientus and Chris Sommers, owners of High On You Balloon Team, which is based in Port St. Lucie, FL and Allentown, PA. I know that many of us are in awe of this unique sport and adventure.  Floating high above the hustle and bustle of everyday life at the whim of the wind. Talkin’ Tourism loves uncovering the usual and not-so-usual things to do, places to go and people to meet.  Listen in if you want to learn more about this Treasure Coast adventure.

The sailfishing has been fabulous but, a Treasure Coast visiting fisherman has a great fish story. We have the details on a 510 pound swordfish that was recently caught in Treasure Coast waters.

The Department of Transportation recently put a new policy in place that will now eliminate all of those “hidden charges”.  Lean what protections this policy will provide air passengers. For those who travel on the ground, whether the price of gas will top $4.00 per gallon this summer is probably on your mind. We'll have the expert’s opinion for you.

AAA Auto Club South representatives Gary Smith and Lisa Higgins will be in the studio to share information about AAA's upcoming Annual Cruise & Tour Show slated for February 2 and the Sleuths Mystery Dinner Day Trip to Orlando coming up February 28. Listen in for all the details on these two fun events and more.

In addition to the topics and guests above, your hosts Gary and Robin will also touch upon some of the following:
  • Is there a new oceanfront hotel coming to Martin County?  
  • Is the St. Lucie Inlet dredge project ready to roll?  
  • Where can you keep your boat in the Bahamas for FREE for 5 days and what’s the catch?
All this and more on today's show, coming to you live on WPSL 1590 AM or at 10:05 a.m.! Hope you can join us, and the coffee pot is always on!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A schooner named "Lily"

Lily Capt. Fred Newhart, First Mate Jamie Miscoski
and Talkin' Tourism show host Gary Guertin.
One of the greatest benefits of hosting a tourism centric radio show each week is the opportunity to meet people who are passionate about what they do. Such was the case this week with our guests Capt. Fred Newhart and his first mate Jamie Miscoski, owners and operators of Treasure Coast Sailing Adventures. Lily, a 60 foot restored schooner, was the last of her kind built to carry commercial cargo.

Trading her cargo, Lily now carries guests on sailing tours along the St. Lucie River. Capt. Fred and First Mate Jamie were incredibly enthusiastic about their adventure, now in its second season. To learn how they acquired the vessel, restored the vessel and now provide a great Treasure Coast visitor experience, check out this week's audio file, it's all there!

In addition to "Lily", lots of tourism tidbits were shared on the show ranging from how not to be a pick-pocket victim as suggested by Bob Arno, The Pickpocket King, to Bahamas updates showcasing great deals from Bimini to Abaco, and a whole lot more.

Post-show note:  At the invitation of Capt. Fred and First Mate Jamie, Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin, show co-producer Misti Guertin, co-host Robin Hicks-Connors, friend Paul Nunley, took a sunset sail aboard Lily on Saturday. Everyone aboard had a great time! Enjoy the video and photos!

All aboard for Stuart Boat Show fun!

Chris Pollock, Gary Guertin Rick Allen, Robin Hicks-Connors,
Richard Treco, Bahamas Tourism office intern Ashley Knowles,
Rozeta Mahboubi and Donna Munroe post-show---all ready
for some boat show fun!
The Allied Marine Group conference room was packed with the Who’s Who of the marine tourism and Stuart Boat Show this week and the conversation was lively and engaging.  After introducing our host John Burkard, the president of Allsports Productions, Rick Allen, gave us a great rundown on what was in store for attendees at the 38th Annual Stuart Boat Show. Sharing in the conversation was John Smith, president of the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast (MIATC). John shared his vision on what needs to occur to build the Treasure Coast's marine industry economy, as well as the industry's impact on marine tourism.  Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Rozeta Mahboubi got right to the heart of the importance of the boat show and its important role in consistently keeping Stuart on the map as a world-class harbour-front community. Interestingly, Rozeta came up with a new name for the Cross Florida Canal/Okeechobee Waterway---Florida's Panama Canal. Very fitting for the gateway connecting the Gulf Coast to the East Coast, The Bahamas and the eastern Caribbean.

With South Florida and the Treasure Coast being on the doorstep to the Islands of the Bahamas, Richard Treco and Donna Munroe from the Bahamas Tourist Office joined the show to spread the Bahamas good cheer.  Just what good cheer did they talk about?  All the great incentives the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has initiated to attract boaters, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts of all types!  In addition, Donna also shared her passion for Grand Bahama Island, specifically sharing Grand Bahama is not just Port Lucaya and Freeport!  There are many unique and diverse attributes to the Islands of the Bahamas “Second City”.  And, special guest Chris Pollock, representing the Bimini Big Game Club, brought listeners up to speed on activity on Bimini and more.

Last but certainly not least, co-host Robin Hick-Connors made a very surprising and important announcement at the top of the show.  Described by others as an “adventure of a lifetime," Robin shared that on a recent fishing trip, she had caught (and released) her first sailfish. Check out the show audio (you can download the January 13 Stuart Boat Show edition here) to hear the details (and excitement) straight from Robin!

Thanks for being a Talkin' Tourism listener, and always feel free to suggest any great tourism topics you or others would like to hear more about.

Catch us next week, same time (10:05 a.m.), same channel (WPSL 1590 AM or, and more great fun!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stuart Boat Show, Offers to Get You Boating to the Bahamas, and Marine Tourism

It's hard to believe it's already Stuart Boat Show time! Boy, does time fly when you are promoting tourism! (Gotcha! You expected "when you're drinking rum!")

As we did last year on the opening day of this Treasure Coast tradition, we are broadcasting from the offices of Allied Marine Group, located right in the heart of the show. Expected to draw great crowds of boating, fishing and outdoor enthusiasts, we'll give our listeners an overview of what to see and the line-up of great guests will give the inside scoop on the show and special offerings you won't want to miss.

AllSports Productions and Stuart Boat Show producer Rick Allen will share his thoughts on this year’s show, comparing it to the last several shows. The economy is getting better (they say) and people still want to have boating fun. John Smith, Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast president, will give a marine industry state of affairs update for the Treasure Coast area and share the importance of marine industries to the area's economy. Rozeta Mahboubi, executive director of the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau,  certainly understands the importance of marine related tourism to our area. If hotels are places where people sleep, marinas certainly are places where boats sleep. When you look at the numbers, there are probably more boat slips than hotel rooms in Martin County, so a lot of boats (and their owners) sleep in Martin County!

Of course a show would not be a Talkin’ Tourism show if it didn't have a Bahamas angle. Joining us from the Bahamas Tourist Office will be one of our favorite Bahamian ambassador's and a long time friend, Richard Treco. Richard will outline all the special offers available to boaters headed over to the Bahamas.

Then, drilling down to the “island level,” Christopher Pollock, member of the Bimini Tourism Advisory Board and representative of the Bimini Big Game Club, will share some thoughts on what the private tourism sector can do to support the efforts of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

The hour will be action-packed and informative, so hoist your anchor, trim your sails and tune your radio (WPSL 1590 AM) and Internet dials to Talkin' Tourism for a boat-load of information!

Bimini remote highlights and the return of power boat racing on the Treasure Coast

Lindsay Nickerson and Chuck Woodruff, who were on hand
this week to talk about a former Treasure Coast tradition
that is being rebirthed, are joined by Talkin' Tourism co-host
Robin Hicks Connors.
Back in the Sailfish Marina studio, as promised, show hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors provided a round up on all the activities and cool places enjoyed during last week’s broadcast from Bimini Sands Resort and Marina on South Bimini. From all indications, Robin, Paul, Gary, Misti, Lynne and Joe had a “I want to go back there” weekend.

If you caught the show you know what was Robin’s favorite place for whole fried snapper, whether she truly liked (or loved) Mackey’s Sand Bar, who’s conch salad rated the best (Fabian’s or Bonefish Ebbie’s), what kind of audio-visual equipment can be found at the End of the World Saloon, where is Koko Plums, whether $hanny really gave Misti a genuine Junkanoo hat and a whole lot more! There is lots to learn about the 'Best of Bimini' and it is all right here! If you need a reason for a Bahamian adventure, replay the show and be forewarned, you'll be booking a trip in no time flat!

The main guests this week were American Power Boat Association Hall of Fame Inductee and Jensen Beach resident Chuck “Rookie” Woodruff and Lindsay Nickerson. For those of you that are “short-timers” on the Treasure Coast, Chuck described the great history of the Stuart Sailfish Regatta and the early days of power boat racing in Martin County. Why? Because a vision of  Chuck’s is to reincarnate the Sailfish Regatta to the biggest and baddest powerboat racing event around! Lindsay, gave a precursor of what to expect over the planned two-day event. In addition to world-class, sanctioned powerboat racing, attendees will enjoy live music, children’s activities, food and drink, and more. The best part besides bringing back a Treasure Coast tradition, is that a portion of proceeds will benefit three local non-profits:  the U.S. Sailing Center, the Children’s Museum and the Maritime and Classic Boat Museum. 

Last, but not least, Gary covered the record-setting pace of some of the world’s top sailfish anglers participating in two Treasure Coast tournaments.  The number of sailfish released in only one day of fishing is CRAZY! The Treasure Coast definitely rests in “Sailfish Alley”!

If you missed the show, here's the audio link for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bimini Rewind and Power Boat Frenzy

If you missed the live broadcast from Bimini Sands Resort & Marina, you missed a great show! Radio Man and History Lady will be definitely doing a rewind of their Bimini New Year’s weekend.  From the End of the World Saloon, fried whole snapper at CJ’s, and fresh Bimini bread delivered by Santa to conch salad and ice cold Kalik’s at Stuart Conch Stand and Ebbie's Bonefish Club, flaming B52's at Mackey's Sand Bar, magic buses, and a wild Junkanoo rushout, you will hear all the details of another great Bahamas remote.

Is there the possibility of a revival of a great Stuart tradition right around the corner?  For Treasure Coast long timers, there are fond memories of the Sailfish Regatta Power Boat Races, which were produced by the SERTOMA Club. This former popular event drew thousands of spectators for over 20 years. Well, it appears that a dedicated group is working hard to bring back this great event. Our guests this week, Jensen Beach resident Chuck “Rookie” Woodruff, a member of the American Power Boat Association’s Hall of Champions, along with event planner Lindsay Nickerson, will unveil plans to bring back the roar of the engines.  Will they be able to pull it off? We will certainly be listening closely to what they have to say.

Talkin’ Tourism’s blog popularity brings lots of incoming tourism related emails from around the globe. Radio Man (a.k.a. show host Gary Guertin) will dig into the email folder and find some of the most interesting and unique tourism tidbits from the mailbag for your tourism edutainment.

See you at 10 a.m. Friday morning! You choose the platform:  WPSL 1590 AM on your radio dial or on your computer.

The perfect location for "Layin' Low in Bimini": Bimini Sands Resort and Marina

The Talkin’ Tourism team was thrilled to be “laying low in Bimini”—the "island in the stream" famous for its crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life—over the New Year’s Weekend. Bimini and Bimini Sands Resort and Marina was the place to be!

Our poolside studio location, overlooking the magical and healing waters of Bimini, could not have been better!  Frank Cooney Sr., president and CEO of Bimini Sands Resort and Marina, led off our great line-up of guests on the show. He shared with listeners the evolution of the resort and the challenges faced after Hurricane Wilma.  A sushi bar (Island Sushi) on the tiny island of South Bimini? Indeed! And the food in the fine cuisine Bimini Twist and the funky Mackey’s Sand Bar (this one complete with a sandy beach floor) under the direction of Chef Edison is Five Star (just ask Robin!). Mackey's Sand Bar is truly a Bimini hot spot, as, is it's sister-bar the outdoor Square Grouper Tiki Bar.

Although we didn't personally experience the Wednesday night Karaoke at Mackey's Sand Bar, this weekly event attracts guests, Biminites, and other Bahamians from South and North Bimini and beyond. And whenever the mood strikes, dancing on the bar here is allowed.

Bimini Big Sand's first class marina, offers fuel services, customs and immigration, a ship's store, free WiFi, golf cart rentals, restaurant, shower and laundry facilities, ice, and has every service and amenity the avid fishermen and boater may need.  The marina's floating docks, freshwater connections, and minimum 8-foot harbour makes this the perfect and comfortable 'home away from home' for any size vessel.

Looking for great eco-excursions? You can find what you are looking for (and more) at Bimini Sands!  Among the great excursions available is a dolphin expedition under the direction of Geoffrey Hanan at Dolphin Expeditions. Geoffrey’s clientele comes from around the globe for this unique adventure. How about great fishing?  Captain Rick Benitez, a Bimini Sands Marina guest, described the great wahoo fishing around the waters of Bimini and he had the photos to prove it.  Representing the Bimini Tourist Office was Antoinette Stuart. As you may know, Bimini is steeped in history. From the adventures of Ernest Hemingway, to the visits of Martin Luther King Jr., Port Royale’s notable resident Adam Clayton Powell and home to Mackey Airlines (which was later sold to Eastern Airlines) founder Joseph C. Mackey, Bimini has a colorful and rich history. Antoinette made the point that Bimini is certainly a destination for lovers of history and culture and the Ministry of Tourism continues to promote the islands famed history in addition to great boating, fishing and diving.  With Bimini so close to the U.S. mainland, it is truly the “Gateway to the Bahamas”.

The show was packed with lots of interesting tidbits, including a few Robin myth-busters, so sit back with a Goombay Smash, Bahama Mama, Kalik or your favorite boat drink and enjoy a mini-vacation to Bimini Sands Resort and Marina compliments of your favorite talk radio tourism show—Talkin’ Tourism! Here's the link to the Bimini Sands broadcast.

And be sure to check out our Bimini New Year's Adventure videos (coming soon) and photo album (below) to see and learn more about this 'Island in the Stream.' There's a mixture of fireworks, Junkanoo, a golf cart ride along Kings Highway on North Bimini, a visit to the Fountain of Youth, a walk through the Bimini Nature Trail (where visitors "Experience the Other Side of Bimini") the annual Burial Society's New Year's Day parade, magic buses, a birthday celebration, lots of local color and characters, and so much more!

Many thanks to Bimini Sands Resort and Marina and the entire Frank Cooney family for hosting the Talkin’ Tourism team for this Bahamian show. The hospitality was genuine, warm and absolutely first-class! WARNING---we will be back!

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