Chamber Hosts June Business Lunch at the Dunes

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber Members Presented ‘The Highland Study’ at Luncheon

Barb Harrington of Hillgate Marketing Services presented The Highland Study commissioned by The Lee County Visitors & Convention Bureau to members of Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce at the June business lunch.

Chamber Lunch June 2016

The Highland Study has become a tool for Lee County and its lodging partners to sustain, build market share and increase lodging revenue. Accommodation spending was up 8.3 percent to $2.1 billion or 70 percent of all tourism spending in 2015, according to the VCB. Direct visitor spending reached $3 billion in the same year, but the VCB says there is room for more tourism dollars.

“(By a show of hands) every business here is impacted by tourism,” Harrington said. “The market is changing. Are you able to keep up?”

The new guest is the Millennial, a market up 12.5 percent in 2015, and are known to review instantly – making first impressions important as ever. Lodging is either regularly improved or deteriorates rapidly. Reinvestment and renovation are crucial to remain competitive. Crisp, fresh, contemporary, clean and bright are the new keywords to look for in reviews.

“Regular updates to paint, linens, furnishings and décor will increase earning potential and renovated vacation rentals significantly increase annual revenue,” Harrington said. “We must ask ourselves how much money are we willing to leave on the table.”

To learn more about The Highland Study, visit leevcbstudy.com.

Members enjoyed lunch at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, one of those places in tune with its natural environment. The 18-hole championship golf course was masterfully designed by 10-time P.G.A. Tour winner and renowned course designer Mark McCumber. It sits within a stunning wildlife preserve sanctioned by the Audubon Society and was the view for the afternoon from the clubhouse.

Lunch sponsor A Better Bug Man introduced Nicole Williams of Application Dynamics, who spoke about mosquito control. Application Dynamics has been protecting families from mosquito-born diseases for more than three decades. It has developed a technology to fight mosquitoes, now offered by A Better Bug Man. For more information on mosquito control around your home, contact A Better Bug Man at 239-454-2847.

South Seas Island Resort Sponsors Luminary Festival 2015

(Nov. 11, 2015) Sanibel, FL– The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce announced today that South Seas Island Resort has taken a gold sponsorship for this year’s Luminary Festival weekend. The 31st annual 2015 Luminary celebrations will take place Friday, December 4th on Sanibel and Saturday, December 5th on Captiva.

Bob Walter, Regional Managing Director for South Seas Island Resort and Inns of Sanibel stated, “The luminary festivities are an exclamation mark to another fantastic year for Sanibel and Captiva. We are thrilled to be a part of such a strong community and we thank the SanCap Chamber, its members, volunteers, and residents for their continued support.”

Luminary Festival is the one time of the year when the islands main streets are lined with illuminated candles. Businesses are decorated with festive trimmings and the landscape is decorated with lights. Island visitors and local residents can enjoy these two magical nights as they stroll the streets and participate in the beginning of the holiday season, island style.

Visitors and residents are invited to mark their calendars for this very special occasion.

 

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Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts becomes Luminary 2015 Gold Sponsor

(Nov. 2, 2015) Sanibel, FL – Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has taken a gold sponsorship for this year’s Luminary Festival Weekend. The 31st annual 2015 Luminary celebrations will take place Friday, December 4th on Sanibel and Saturday, December 5th on Captiva.

“We are pleased to be able to support the Luminary festival again this year,” said Jeff Shuff, Chief Financial Officer of Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts, owners of ‘Tween Waters Inn, West Wind Inn, Beachview Cottages and Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages. “It is a great time of year on the islands and the Luminary festival on Sanibel and Captiva is the perfect way for the community to enjoy the official kick off to the holiday season.”

During the Luminary celebrations the main streets are lined with illuminated candles, businesses are decorated with festive trimmings and trees and landscaping twinkle with holiday lights. Sanibel and Captiva visitors and local residents can enjoy these two magical nights on our islands.

“’Tween Waters Inn is known for their legendary holiday décor, and this year with their new acquisition on Sanibel, they truly represent both islands. We are excited to see what they have in store for us at this year’s Luminary festival. We appreciate their continued support.” said Ric Base, President of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce.

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The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Earns State Recognition

Sanibel, FL (Aug. 25, 2015) – The Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Visitor Center on Sanibel has been named one of only thirteen official Florida Certified Tourism Information Centers in association with a new VISIT FLORIDA program.

The VISIT FLORIDA Certified Tourism Information Centers (CTICs) Program brings VISIT FLORIDA recognition to Visitor Services facilities around the state, providing these facilities and their staff with benefits that enable successful promotion of travel to and throughout Florida.

To become an official Florida Certified Tourism Information Center, visitor centers must meet requirements specified by VISIT FLORIDA, such as: centers must be a VISIT FLORIDA Partner, centers must be open year-round at a minimum of five days per week, centers must be located in a convenient and accessible location for the ease of travelers, and centers must have access to parking and restroom facilities to accommodate visitors including persons with disabilities.

“VISIT FLORIDA is not looking to franchise visitor centers,” said David Dodd, VISIT FLORIDA Vice President of Visitor Services. “The VISIT FLORIDA Certified Tourism Information Center Program is focused on presenting a consistent Florida message and a quality Florida experience for all visitors to the Sunshine State.”

“We are very proud of our staff and volunteers who look after the many visitors that come through our doors each and every day” said Chamber president Ric Base

The Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Visitor Center is located at the entrance to Sanibel Island and welcomes over 165,000 visitors each year. The Visitor Center is open 365 days a year and provides visitors with comprehensive information about things to do, places to visit, where to stay, shop or dine.

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CHAMBER HOSTS RIBBON CUTTING TO CELEBRATE SUNDIAL BEACH RESORT & SPA

Sanibel, FL (April 21, 2015) – The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate the newly renovated property and updated amenities at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa on April 14, 2015.

Sundial, the premier beachfront condominium resort and spa on Sanibel Island, marked the occasion with a very well attended ribbon cutting in the company of business leaders, City officials and Chamber members and guests.

The enhanced facilities include a new state of the art fitness center, a Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa and Boutique, the Slice of Paradice poolside pizza and ice cream parlor, a Sanibel Sea School campus and Bailey’s Marketplace, a new well-stocked onsite grocery.

“We were delighted to see so many people join us for our ribbon cutting” said Phillip Starling, Sundial’s newly appointed General Manager. “It enables us to introduce our new Sundial Beach Resort and Spa enhanced offering to so many of our good friends and supporters” he concluded.

“We are proud to celebrate this great addition to Sanibel Island’s beachfront resorts” said Ric Base, President of the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce. Present at the Ribbon Cutting was Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, City Manager Judie Zimomra and Councilmen Chauncey Goss and Jim Jennings.

Located on 1451 Middle Gulf Drive, Sanibel, Sundial Beach Resort and Spa offers spacious fully equipped condominium accommodations in various sizes, complete with kitchen, living room, and dining area.

For more information visit www.sundialresort.com or call 239-472 4151.

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Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

U.S. News and World Report Travel ranks Sanibel #3 in their Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.

Taking the family to the beach can create lifelong memories, as long as every member of the family is satisfied. To help you choose your next family beach vacation, U.S. News considered factors like safe waters, kid-friendly attractions, dining options, spacious accommodations, multi-generational appeal and overall accessibility. The list below features destinations across the country that are most ideal for family getaways, according to travel experts and our readers. Weigh in by voting below, then use this list to plan your upcoming travel.

Why Go: Sanibel Island is a hit with kids for two reasons. The “Sanibel Scoop” keeps little ones occupied for hours as they comb the wide beaches for shells and sand dollars. If you’re not yet convinced, keep in mind that hotel deals are pretty easy to find here.

This secluded Fort Myers offshoot is considered even more low-key, quiet and quaint than its Gulf Coast neighbor, and that’s saying a lot. Casual is the order of the day on Sanibel Island; a shabby chic vibe permeates the Periwinkle Way galleries, restaurants and shops; seashells cover every sandy and linoleum surface. In fact, the abundant seashells have become this island’s (and its smaller sister, Captiva’s) claim to fame.

You’ll find plenty of beachcombers practicing the “Sanibel stoop” — what locals call shelling — on any lengthy stretch of sand. Plan on joining them for at least one afternoon of your stay; that is, if the mood strikes you. The residents of laid-back Sanibel wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Chamber Hosts Ribbon Cutting for Colony Inn

Sanibel, FL (March 2, 2015) – The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate the recently updated property, Colony Inn, on the East end of Sanibel.

Local Chamber business members joined owners and guests to enjoy the newly renovated condos, a new logo and new name. Complimentary appetizers and beverages were served by Colony Inn board members. “The renovations are ongoing as we are working to update the property to meet the needs of time,” stated Betsy Dekker, General Manager for the Inn. “We are thrilled with the improvements that have been made so far. Business has been wonderful as a result and we are looking forward to what lies ahead.” The Colony Inn offers a variety of accommodation types that range in price. They are located at 419 East Gulf Drive. For more information, call 239-472-5151 or visit their website at http://www.colonyinnsanibel.com.

 

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Island Inn Sponsors Luminary Festival 2014

(Sanibel, FL – November 25, 2014) – The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce announced that the Island Inn has taken a Gold Sponsorship for this year’s Luminary Festival. The 30th annual 2014 Luminary celebrations will take place on Friday, December 5th on Sanibel and on Saturday, December 6th on Captiva.

“Luminary Weekend is an important event that we value, as it brings the entire Sanibel and Captiva community together for an official start to the holiday season,” said Chris Davison, General Manager of the Island Inn. “It’s truly a memorable experience for our guests and we are proud to support the 30th year of this wonderful event,” he continued.

On the nights of each island’s Luminary festival the streets are adorned with dainty white bags, each filled with island sand that support carefully light candlesticks. These bags and candles serve more than just the purpose of illuminating the holiday path. The magical glow provides the energy that trail followers and business owners carry with them throughout the evening. This energy sets the stage for the holiday season and is one that visitors and residents carry with them throughout the year.

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South Seas Island Resort Sponsors Luminary Festival 2014

(Sanibel, FL – November 21, 2014) – The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce announced today that South Seas Island Resort has taken a gold sponsorship for this year’s Luminary Festival weekend. The 30th annual 2014 Luminary celebrations will take place on Friday, December 5th on Sanibel and on Saturday, December 6th on Captiva.

Bob Walter, Regional Managing Director for South Seas Island Resort, Inns of Sanibel, and The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, stated, “The luminary festivities are an exclamation mark to another fantastic year for Sanibel and Captiva. We are thrilled to be a part of such a strong community and we thank the SanCap Chamber, its members, volunteers, and residents for their continued support.”

Luminary Festival is the one time a year that the island streets will be lined with illuminated candles, decorated trees and other festive trimmings. Santa will stop by to make his traditional visit on his fire truck to the shopping centers, galleries, and local businesses. Island visitors and local residents can enjoy these two magical nights as they stroll the streets and partake in a truly enlightening experience.

Visitors and residents are invited to mark their calendars for this very special occasion; this year holds a significant importance for celebrating the 30th anniversary of the event.

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Site names beach on Sanibel among most dog-friendly

Tourism Talk

Site names beach on Sanibel among most dog-friendly

Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 12:57 by Gary White

Summer is the time for travel. Some travelers seek destinations that will allow them to bring their four-legged companions along.

Sanibel Island can claim one of the eight most dog-friendly beaches in the country, as rated by Vetstreet.com, an animal health and lifestyle website. To be specific, the site named Algiers Beach in Gulfside City Park on Sanibel Island to the list. Dogs on a leash no longer than 8 feet are welcome at all Sanibel beaches.

The site lauds the beach for having plenty of space for owners and dogs to get exercise. Apparently it also scored points for the tropical nature of the island and a nearby nature preserve.

Many area accommodations from luxury resorts to beach cottages to condos and rental homes welcome pets. Be sure to check with each property for information regarding charges and requirements.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island also welcomes dogs (on a leash no longer than six feet) on Wildlife Drive, the refuge’s public access road.

Check out pet friendly accommodations at Where to Stay – Pet-Friendly Accommodations.

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