VCB Email News Network

Week of April 7, 2014

VCB NEWS

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.

TRANSPORTATION NEWS

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.

ACCOMMODATIONS NEWS

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 (vfioravante@krepspr.com), 305-663-3543, www.sanibelmarriott.com; Betsy Tecco (btecco@btcmarketing.com), 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 (afinazzo@quinnandco.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 (mkilleen@cooperhotels.com), 239-210-7300, www.homewoodsuites.com.

ATTRACTIONS NEWS

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 (tomsoffice@shellfactory.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 (kanders@sccf.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 (j.zimomra@mysanibel.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.


Southwest Florida Yachts in Cape Coral has added to its charter fleet Half Shell – an Island Packet 41 Motorsailer. With a full keel for solid and comfortable cruising, it has a sloop rig with roller furling on the main and jib sails, along with a 100-horsepower Yanmar diesel. Contact: Jim Frankowiak (jim@cprg-web.com), 813-220-3002, www.swfyachts.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.

SPECIAL EVENTS

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 (tsimon@miraclebaseball.com), 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 (jleal@shellmuseum.org), 239-395-2233, www.shellmuseum.org.

MAY 2014

Through May 3, 2014
THE BIG BANG
Sanibel Island
239-472-6862
www.bigarts.org

Through May 4, 2014
A LITTLE MURDER NEVER HURT ANYBODY
Cape Coral
239-772-5862
www.culturalparktheater.com

Through May 11, 2014
THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB
Fort Myers

239-278-4422
www.BroadwayPalm.com

Through May 11, 2014
HEART SONG
Fort Myers
239-332-4488, 877-787-8053
www.floridarep.org

Through May 24, 2014
THE MUSIC MAN
Fort Myers

239-278-4422
www.BroadwayPalm.com

May 2, 2014
FORT MYERS ART WALK
Downtown Fort Myers
239-332-0161
www.fortmyersartwalk.com

May 2-3, 2014
DING” DARLING & DOC FORD’S TARPON TOURNAMENT
Fort Myers Beach

239-292-0566

www.dingdarlingtarpontourney.org

May 4, 2014
TASTE OF THE BEACH
Fort Myers Beach

239-454-7500
www.fortmyersbeach.org

May 10, 2014
TURTLE TROT 5K RUN/WALK
Fort Myers Beach
239-463-4588
www.floridastateparks.org/loverskey

May 11, 2014
GALA OF THE ROYAL HORSES
Estero
239-334-3309
www.germainarena.com

May 11, 2014
MOTHER’S DAY TRAIN
Fort Myers
239-275-8487, 800-SEM-GULF
www.semgulf.com

May 16, 2014
FORT MYERS MUSIC WALK
Downtown Fort Myers
239-337-1933
www.fortmyersmusicwalk.com

May 16-31, 2014
SECOND BOOK OF RUTH
Fort Myers
239-218-0481
www.laboratorytheaterflorida.com

May 22, 2014
STYX, FOREIGNER: THE SOUNDTRACK OF SUMMER TOUR
Estero
239-334-3309
www.germainarena.com

May 29-June 21, 2014
MID-LIFE THE CRISIS MUSICAL
Fort Myers

239-278-4422
www.BroadwayPalm.com

May 31, 2014
HUNTER HAYES: WE’RE NOT INVISIBLE TOUR
Estero
239-334-3309
www.germainarena.com

JUNE 2014

Through June 21, 2014
MID-LIFE THE CRISIS MUSICAL
Fort Myers

239-278-4422
www.BroadwayPalm.com

June 6, 2014
FORT MYERS ART WALK
Downtown Fort Myers
www.fortmyersartwalk.com
239-332-0161

June 15, 2014
FATHER’S DAY TRAIN
Fort Myers
239-275-8487, 800-SEM-GULF
www.semgulf.com

June 20, 2014
FORT MYERS MUSIC WALK
Downtown Fort Myers
239-337-1933
www.fortmyersmusicwalk.com

June 22, 2014
BRIAN REGAN
Fort Myers

239-481-4849, 800-440-7469
www.bbmannpah.com

June 26-Aug. 9, 2014
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
Fort Myers

239-278-4422
www.BroadwayPalm.com

June 30, 2013
FUN-A-MENT FISHING TOURNAMENT
Cape Coral
239-437-6166

For details about any of the above events and news items, contact the Communications Department, Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau:

Lee Rose/ LRose@leegov.com
Francesca Donlan/ FDonlan@leegov.com

or call us at 800-237-6444/239-338-3500. For immediate general information about
Lee County log onto: www.FortMyersSanibel.com and visit the Media section.

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