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FORT MYERS & SANIBEL Florida Theatre Jacksonville Called the "River City by the Sea," Jacksonville offers groups of all sizes a big city experience next to 21 miles of sandy beaches and 85,000 acres of parks, representing the largest urban park system in the nation. There are a lot of new hotel renovations this year all along the river. The Jacksonville Omni Hotel announced plans for an $8 million renovation of its 354 rooms and restaurant/ bar. Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa is undergoing a multi-million refresh to enhance the entire resort, including the golf course villas. Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is currently undergoing renovations to its 963 guest rooms. And Radisson Jacksonville Butler Boulevard completed renovations to all of its public and meeting spaces. The bulk of these hotels line either side of St. John's River, anchored by the bustling Jacksonville Landing dining and entertainment district. Surrounding the Landing, groups can walk to interesting venues like the restored Florida Theatre, one of the first grand palace movie halls in the country. Today, groups book the space for dramatic presentations and performances. "Jacksonville is a young and vibrant city with an active nightlife, exciting arts and culture scene, and it's a great value for groups," says Bob Meyer, director of sales/convention services for Visit Jacksonville. 42 | prevue magazine 35-55_FLORIDA.indd 42 With so much coastal area around Fort Myers in Lee County, and Sanibel Island just offshore, the area is the perfect backdrop for water-based teambuilding events. "There are several companies that have designed and delivered high-impact teambuilding programs to companies throughout the Fort Myers and Sanibel for the meetings industry," says Pamela Johnson, director of sales for Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. "The Offshore Sailing School turns 50 this coming year. Headquartered here in Fort Myers, the company has taught more than 130,000 people to sail since it was founded by an Olympian and America's Cup sailor. To celebrate this milestone, Offshore Sailing School owners, Steve and Doris Colgate, are planning several events and contests to take place over the course of the year." Johnson says planners tell her that sailing is a great teambuilding experience that utilizes the divergent personalities of each individual to accomplish a common goal. Offshore Sailing offers fun and productive "Corporate SailRace Challenges" that provide real-time exercises to solidify communication between company executives, co-workers and management. The ROI is identifying and encouraging good leadership qualities. Area hotels in Fort Myers and Sanibel range in all sizes from boutique to corporate. Opened in December 2012, The Westin Cape Coral Resort in Fort Myers earned its first 4-diamond classification this year. The 263-room hotel offers 25,000 sf of flexible function space. For intimate groups, The Gasparilla Inn & Club began celebrating its 100th season last October with a Centennial Celebration that will continue through July 6. The Inn occupies more than 180 acres on Gasparilla Island with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico and Charlotte Harbor. "The Inn was originally built for well-to-do northerners at a time when Florida was first becoming a vacation destination," explains Johnson. "The National Historic Landmark property is the largest surviving wooden hotel in Florida and a favorite destination for corporate meeting planners." The iconic resort offers 6,500 sf of function space. On the digital side, Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel developed a first-of-its-kind, digital ecological calendar called "Awaken." Local fine-art photographer Cameron Michael used time-lapse photography to create an online calendar that alerts users to unique and special events. That ranges from the best times to view bottlenose dolphins to holiday celebrations at the Edison Ford Winter House. Johnson also points out Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island's "Incentive Meetings Offer." Planners can receive a 5% cash rebate up to $5,000 of the total actualized room revenue on any meeting or conference in the Fort Myers/Sanibel area. Offer excludes February to April and expires December 2017. 1/8/14 8:41 AM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Visit Florida

Visit Florida

Visit Florida - (Page 1)
Visit Florida - (Page 2)
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Visit Florida - (Page 4)
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Visit Florida - (Page 7)
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