VCB Email News Network

Week of Feb. 10, 2016

VCB NEWS

During the month of December 2015, Smith Travel Research recorded a 58.5 percent occupancy rate for The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, reflecting a 15.3 percent increase, compared to 50.7 percent in December  2014. December 2015 RevPAR figures (revenue per average room) increased by 19.2 percent over December  2015. Fourth quarter 2015 statistics from Davidson-Peterson Associates demonstrates a 3.9 percent increase in visitation and a 5.6 percent rise in expenditures above the same period last year.  Contacts: Tamara Smith (TSmith@leegov.com) and Nancy Burr (NHamilton@leegov.com), 239-338-3500.

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB), representing The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, announces Pamela Jones as its new deputy directorJones has spent 18 years working for the VCB in marketing, advertising and sales. She worked most recently as the director of sales and will now be responsible for all aspects of bureau operations and management. Jones is a Certified Destination Management Executive as awarded by Destination Marketing Association International. Contacts: Tamara Smith (TSmith@leegov.com) and Nancy Burr (NHamilton@leegov.com), 239-338-3500.



The (VCB) also welcomes new international sales manager Stefanie Monika Minke to its staff. She will oversee the day-to-day marketing efforts of VCB international contractors based in Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Minke comes to the VCB with a strong hospitality background from positions in Napier, New Zealand; and Barcelona, Spain. Contacts: Tamara Smith (TSmith@leegov.com) and Nancy Burr (NHamilton@leegov.com), 239-338-3500, 

TRANSPORTATION NEWS

During December 2015, 735,739 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers, making it the busiest December in the airport’s history. Figures represent an increase of 8.2 percent compared to December  2016. Year-to-date passenger traffic has increased 3.9 percent over the same period last year. Contact: Victoria B. Westland (vbmoreland@ flylcpa.com), 239-590-4504.

ACCOMMODATIONS NEWS

From April 20 through May 22,  2016, ‘Tween Waters Inn on Captiva Island is offering a Spring-in-Your-Step Sale for multiple night stays. Three-night vacations start at $175 per night; five nights at $165. The sale includes a $100 resort coupon book and free breakfast buffet. Contact: Emily Gettner (EmilyK@make-noise.com), 239-395-9555.

BEST WESTERN PLUS Fort Myers Beach Resort ended 2015 with three highly prized corporate awards for service, quality, and value. Nationally recognized as one of the top 1 percent Best Western International properties in North America, the beachfront resort is one of only 20 Best Western properties (out of 2,193 properties in the United States and Canada) to receive an M.K. Guertin Award (the highest Best Western honor), Champion Customer Care Award, and Best Western Green Award. Contact: Katrina Solar (ks@paradesign.us), 239-470-5611.

ATTRACTIONS NEWS

A fine art photography exhibition at Southwest Florida Museum of History in Fort Myers captures the early years of Beatlemania from the photo archives of CBS Television and LIFE magazine. The Beatles: Backstage and Behind the Scenes will run through April 26,  2016. Contact: Shelby Malcom, smalcom@cityftmyers.com, 239-321-7430.

The Shell Factory & Nature Park in North Fort Myers was the site of a recent world record in extreme vertical at a world qualifying event recently. Winning dog Bo jumped 8 feet, 6 inches to break the outdoor world record during an event held in conjunction with the 12th Annual Gumbo Fest. Contact: Pam Crowe (pam@shellfactory.com), 239-246-8120.

Miracle Baseball in Fort Myers has partnered with local businesses to offer the $40 Sweetheart Package for Valentine’s Day delivery. The package includes four Miracle game seat tickets, a carnation, bang bang shrimp from Bonefish Grill, a boat cruise for two aboard the Fort Myers Princess, and a cupcake from Grace & Shelly's Cupcakes. Contact: Gary Dullman (gsharp@miraclebaseball.com), 239-768-4210.

Offshore Sailing School, with headquarters in Fort Myers, announces a yearlong celebration commemorating its 50th anniversary. The celebration begins with a contest open to everyone who has had an on-water experience with Offshore and wishes to share it in any creative form. The contest ends Sept. 1,  2016; prizes include free sailing trips, accommodations packages, and more. Contact: Sharon Happ (sharon@gsma.pro), 239-275-5758.

Imaginarium Science Center in Fort Myers is hosting the Expedition Earth traveling exhibition through May 18,  2016. The interactive exhibit explores the ways field scientists work to save and protect life on the planet. The 3,500-square-foot adventure features hands-on activities, authentic specimens, engaging environments, and true-to-life scientific research. The science center also recently debuted Imaginarium Playground, a permanent exhibit featuring life-size building blocks. Contact: Shelby Malcom, smalcom@cityftmyers.com, 239-321-7430.

For the sixth consecutive season, acclaimed Wall Street Journal drama critic and best-selling author, Terry Teachout, wrote Florida Rep in Fort Myers a sterling review. This season, he told theatergoers nationwide that Arsenic and Old Lace was a "charming revival" and called cast members "absolutely perfect" and "vividly drawn." Contact: Jason Lively (jasonlively@floridarep.org), 239-332-4665 ext. 35.

Visitors can scan the shelling prospects of Sanibel Island with a new map at The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. The interactive shelling map allows visitors, staff, and volunteers to post up-to-date information on shelling and beach conditions. The museum encourages shellers to share their finds on the map, which is accessible free-of-charge. Contact:  Jose Real (jleal@shellmuseum.org), 239-395-2233.

Alico Family Golf, a new 30-acre golf center, recently opened in Fort Myers. Designed for all ages, it offers programs for golfers new to serious. The lighted facility features a 5,000-square-foot clubhouse, a sports cafe, 18 holes of miniature golf, a PGA teaching school, 72 grass tee boxes, shaded practice areas, nine holes of novice-friendly golf, youth camps, and clinics for all ages. Contact: info@alicofamilygolf.com, 239-334-GOLF.

Southwest FloridaYachts  in Cape Coral has added the PDQ 32 Power Cat Authenticity to its power and sail charter fleet. The 32-foot vessel has a large main salon, two queen-sized cabins, and a head plus a stereo and DVD-player equipped television. Powered by 75-horsepower diesels, the Authenticity also has a diesel-powered generator, refrigerator and icemaker, air conditioning, and heater. Contact: Jim Frankowhich (jim@cprg-web.com), 813-220-3002.

HeadPinz Fort Myers, a new multi-million dollar entertainment center, will open on Treeline Avenue near the airport by December  2016. The 45,000-square-foot facility, which will break ground in early March, will feature bowling lanes, a laser tag arena, a ropes course, arcade games, meeting rooms, a café, and two bars. Contact: 239-574-3611.

The Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers is celebrating a major milestone—reaching 1,000 members for the first time in its nearly 40 year existence. An art-centric gathering place, the Alliance presents a diverse range of programming on its campus including monthly exhibits, concerts, festivals, plays, poetry readings, movies, and a weekly GreenMarket. Contact: Mike Canary (publicity@artinlee.org), 239-939-2787 ext. 128.

DINING & RETAIL

Bealls Department Stores is now featuring the Florida-themed work of Matlacha artist Leoma Lovegrove statewide. The stores are showcasing Lovegrove’s art in multiple product lines including ladies and children’s apparel, handbags, luggage, beach towels, drink ware, and more. Contact: Leoma Hategrove  (leomalovegrove@gmail.com), 239-822-4109.

The Enchanted Ballroom, with one location on Sanibel Island, opens a second ballroom dance studio at The Promenade in Bonita Springs this month. Co-owner Stefan Zhivkov, a European champion in ballroom dancing, and other instructors will teach all American and international dance styles, including west coast swing, salsa, waltz, cha-cha, and rumba. Contact: 239-579-0468,

SPECIAL EVENTS

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) announces the inaugural Island Hopper Songwriter Fest to take place this fall. The festival kicks off Sept. 26-28,  2016 on Captiva Island with dozens of performances headlining nationally-acclaimed talent at venues along Andy Rosse Lane. The closing weekend, Oct. 3-6, will take place throughout Fort Myers Beach. Contacts: Tamara Smith (TSmith@leegov.com) and Nancy burr (NHamilton@leegov.com), 239-338-3500,

Sanibel Sea School has announced a new Adult Education Series this season. Offerings include Fishing from a Biological Perspective, Mornings of Ocean Discovery, and evening lectures. Contact: Bruce Geiser  (bruce@sanibelseaschool.org), 239-472-8585, 

MARCH  2016

Through March 2,  2016
DEFAMATION
Sanibel Island
239-472-6862

Through March 5,  2016
THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
Fort Myers
239-332-4488, 877-787-8053
>

Through March 8,  2016
THE ALTRUISTS
Fort Myers
239-218-0481
>

Through March 15,  2016
NANA'S NAUGHTY KNICKERS
Fort Myers
239-278-4422

Through April 20,  2016
LES MISERABLES
Fort Myers
239-278-4422

March 2-3,  2016
DWIGHT ICENHOWER'S TRIBUTE TO THE KING
Fort Myers
239-278-4422

March 2-16,  2016
I REMEMBER MAMA
Cape Coral
239-772-5862

March 4-25,  2016
SANIBEL MUSIC FESTIVAL
Sanibel Island
239-344-7025

March 6-8,  2016
SHELL FESTIVAL
Sanibel Island
239-472-2155
 

March 7,  2016
FORT MYERS ART WALK
Downtown Fort Myers
239-332-0161

March 7-April 5,  2016
ROMANCE/ROMANCE
Sanibel Island
239-472-6862

March 8-9,  2016
LADIES, LET'S GO FISHING! UNIVERSITY SERIES
Matlacha
954-475-9068

March 8-9,  2016
FORT MYERS BEACH SHRIMP FESTIVAL AND PARADE
Fort Myers Beach
239-848-6568

March 9,  2016
BRUCE T. GORA SUNDAY SUNSET CONCERT
Fort Myers
239-939-2787

March 11-16,  2016
WAR HORSE
Fort Myers
239-481-4849, 800-440-7469

March 14,  2016
DISNEY ON ICE: ROCKIN EVER AFTER
Estero
239-334-3309

March 14-23,  2016
THE WHALE
Fort Myers
239-939-2787

March 16,  2016
BLESSING OF THE SHRIMP FLEET FESTIVAL
Fort Myers Beach
239-463-6487

March 16-17,  2016
THE DRIFTERS
Fort Myers
239-278-4422

March 18,  2016
MICHAEL BOLTON
Fort Myers
239-481-4849, 800-440-7469

March 18-April 9,  2016
CLYBOURNE PARK
Fort Myers
239-332-4488, 877-787-8053

March 14-15,  2016
BONITA BLUES FESTIVAL
Bonita Springs
239-898-2939

March 19-23,  2016
FORT MYERS FILM FESTIVAL
Various Fort Myers locations
239-810-6323

March 20-May 11,  2016
THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB
Fort Myers
239-278-4422

March 21,  2016
FORT MYERS MUSIC WALK
Downtown Fort Myers
239-337-1933

March 21-22,  2016
SANIBEL CAPTIVA LIONS CLUB ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR
Sanibel Island
239-472-3829

March 21-April 5,  2016
THE GRADUATE
Fort Myers
239-218-0481

March 24,  2016
BACK HOME AGAIN - A TRIBUTE TO JOHN DENVER
Fort Myers
239-278-4422

March 27,  2016
SCOTTY MCCREERY
Fort Myers
239-481-4849, 800-440-7469

March 28,  2016
RICHARD NADER'S DOO WOP & ROCK N' ROLL
Fort Myers
239-481-4849, 800-440-7469

March 28-April 13,  2016
SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ
Cape Coral
239-772-5862

March 30-31,  2016
ABBA FAB: TRIBUTE TO ABBA
Fort Myers
239-278-4422

March 31,  2016
COPENHAGEN READING
Fort Myers
239-218-0481

APRIL  2016

Through April 5,  2016
ROMANCE/ROMANCE
Sanibel Island
239-472-6862

Through April 5,  2016
THE GRADUATE
Fort Myers
239-218-0481

Through April 9,  2016
CLYBOURNE PARK
Fort Myers
239-332-4488, 877-787-8053

Through April 13,  2016
SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE
Cape Coral
239-772-5862

Through April 20,  2016
LES MISERABLES
Fort Myers
239-278-4422

Through May 11,  2016
THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB
Fort Myers
239-278-4422

April 1-6,  2016
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET
Fort Myers
239-481-4849, 800-440-7469

April 1-30,  2016
EARTH MONTH
Fort Myers
239-275-3435

April 4,  2016
FORT MYERS ART WALK
Downtown Fort Myers
239-332-0161

April 7,  2016
THE MAGIC OF MANILOW
Fort Myers
239-278-4422

April 11-May 3,  2016
THE BIG BANG
Sanibel Island
239-472-6862

April 12,  2016
EARTH DAY FESTIVAL
Bonita Springs
239-777-0186 

April 16,  2016
UPCYCLE! ART FEST
Sanibel Island
239-292-0566

April 17-May 24,  2016
THE MUSIC MAN
Fort Myers
239-278-4422

April 18,  2016
FORT MYERS MUSIC WALK
Downtown Fort Myers
239-337-1933

April  19,  2016
EARTH DAY AT THE REFUGE
Sanibel Island
239-472-1100 ext. 236

April 19,  2016
FORT MYERS BEACH EASTER EGG HUNT
Fort Myers Beach
239-454-7500

April 19,  2016                                                
CHILDREN’S SPRING FESTIVAL
Sanibel Island
239-472-4538

April 19,  2016
HOLIDAY EGG HUNT
Boca Grande
941-964-2564

April 22-May 11,  2016
HEART SONG
Fort Myers
239-332-4488, 877-787-8053

April 23-37,  2016
FORT MYERS BEACH FILM FESTIVAL
Fort Myers Beach
239-314-9234

April 25-May 4,  2016
A LITTLE MURDER NEVER HURT ANYBODY
Cape Coral
239-772-5862

April 28,  2016
IN THE SHADE OF OLD TREES READING
Fort Myers
239-218-0481

April 30,  2016
BOZ SCAGGS
Fort Myers
239-481-4849, 800-440-7469

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

Nancy Burr/ NHamilton@leegov.com
Lee Thorn/ LThorn@leegov.com
Francesca Givelan/ FGivlan@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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