VCB Email News Network
Week of April 7, 2014
During the month of February 2014, Smith Travel Research recorded a 88.3 percent occupancy rate for The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, reflecting a 5.8 percent increase compared to 83.5 percent in February 2013. RevPAR figures (revenue per available room) increased by 18.8 percent over February 2013. Contacts: Tamara Pigott (TPigott@leegov.com), 239-338-3500, www.leevcb.com.
CBS has put into development mode Doc Ford, a drama project based on local author Randy Wayne White's book series. The adaptation centers around a retired NSA agent-turned-marine biologist who gets justice for those in need on the Gulf Coast of southern Florida. The Doc Ford book series consists of 21 novels starting with 1990's Sanibel Flats. The most recent, Bone Deep, was published this year. Contacts: Tamara Pigott (TPigott@leegov.com), 239-338-3500, www.leevcb.com.
During February 2014, 862,899 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers, reflecting an increase of 4.33 percent compared to February 2013 and making it the busiest February in the airport’s 30-year history, despite numerous weather-related flight cancellations. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 3.7 percent from the same period last year. Contact: Victoria B. Moreland (vbmoreland@ flylcpa.com), 239-590-4504, www.flylcpa.com.
Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Myers and Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande recently made the Top 100 list of spas by Conde Nast Traveler for 2013. The rankings were based on treatments, staff, facilities, number of treatment rooms, basic massage, and overall ratings. Contact: Vanessa Fioravante (email@example.com), 305-663-3543, www.sanibelmarriott.com; Betsy Tecco (firstname.lastname@example.org), 610-254-7427, www.gasparillainn.com.
The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village is participating in the Westin Hotels & Resorts new Westin Well-being Movement campaign designed to enhance the wellness and comfort of guests through sleeping, eating, working, playing, and other initiatives. Contact: Allison Finazzo (email@example.com), 212-868-1900 ext. 262, www.westincapecoral.com.
Homewood Suites at Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers recently received a corporate award of merit for Balanced Scorecard Most Improved (overall hotel performance and guest satisfaction) - one of 11 Homewood properties to receive the award. The Homewood Suites by Hilton Airport/FGCU in Fort Myers earned awards of merit in two categories: Exceeded Expectation in Problem Resolution and Most Improved Exceeded Expectation in Problem Resolution - one of 10 hotels nationwide honored in both categories. Contact: Maureen Killeen (firstname.lastname@example.org), 239-210-7300, www.homewoodsuites.com.
The Shell Factory in North Fort Myers will open a Fossil and Gem Museum on April 17, 2014. The attraction’s third museum will feature expert paleontology collections. Contact: Tom Cronin (email@example.com), 239-995-2141 ext. 117, www.shellfactory.com.
The Captiva Island Historical Society unveiled its new Captiva History Gallery in March to illustrate Captiva Island's unusual, diverse history. Accessible through the Captiva Memorial Library, the gallery takes on the wooden look of the interior of the old mail boat, Santiva, which served the islands prior to the construction of the Sanibel Causeway in 1963. Contact: Kristie Anders (firstname.lastname@example.org), 239-472-2329, http://captivaislandhistoricalsociety.org.
The new Shipley Trail opened last month on Sanibel Island, connecting Pond Apple Trail with the developing Bailey Homestead Preserve. The shell-paved path and boardwalk adds nearly a mile to the existing trail and skirts the Bailey property where visitors can view historic and educational displays. Contact: Judie Zimomra (email@example.com), 239-472-3700, www.mysanibel.com.
JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, spring training home to the Boston Red Sox, recently listed on the 10Best.com/USA TODAY Readers' Choice contest for Best Spring Training Facility at No. 9. Contact: Tamara Pigott (TPigott@leegov.com), 239-338-3500, www.leevcb.com.
Lovers Key State Park on Fort Myers Beach and Gasparilla Island State Park on Boca Grande ranked No. 5 and No. 6 respectively on the state's Top 10 list of most visited state parks in 2012-13. More than 846,000 park-goers visited Lovers Key, with nearly 800,000 making a stop at Gasparilla. Contact: Tamara Pigott (TPigott@leegov.com), 239-338-3500, www.leevcb.com.
USA TODAY and 10Best.com recently named Lovers Key on Fort Myers Beach among the 10 least-known Florida beaches. The article says: “it's one-fourth of a state park, home to a resort and an enduring haven for couples in pursuit of blissful isolation.” It also cited Gasparilla Island for its “epic” tarpon fishing. Contact: Tamara Pigott (TPigott@leegov.com), 239-338-3500, www.leevcb.com.
DINING & RETAIL
The popular Midwestern restaurant chain Culver’s – known for its “butter burgers” and fresh-made frozen custard -- recently opened two of the area’s first restaurants in Estero and in Gulf Coast Town Center in Fort Myers. Contact: www.culvers.com.
The Florida State League Fort Myers Miracle baseball season is in full swing at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers. A new 360-degree boardwalk at the stadium and expanded seating are part of ongoing renovations. The last eight games of the season, which runs through Aug. 31, 2014, will take place at JetBlue Stadium in Fort Myers to facilitate the renovation project. Contact: Terry Simon (firstname.lastname@example.org), 239-768-4210, www.miraclebaseball.com.
The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum on Sanibel Island hosts a new weekly beach walk with a marine naturalist every Thursday at 10 a.m. Participants learn about the shells, the mollusks that create them, and other marine life that has washed ashore. The cost is $10 per person and includes half-price admission to the museum. Reservations are required. Contact: Dr. Jose Leal (email@example.com), 239-395-2233, www.shellmuseum.org.
Through May 3, 2014
Through May 4, 2014
Through May 11, 2014
Through May 11, 2014
Through May 24, 2014
May 2, 2014
May 2-3, 2014
May 4, 2014
May 10, 2014
May 11, 2014
May 11, 2014
May 16, 2014
May 16-31, 2014
May 22, 2014
May 29-June 21, 2014
May 31, 2014
Through June 21, 2014
June 6, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 20, 2014
June 22, 2014
June 26-Aug. 9, 2014
June 30, 2013
For details about any of the above events and news items, contact the Communications Department, Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau:
or call us
at 800-237-6444/239-338-3500. For immediate general information about