Fla. Hotels Package State Park Opening

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Eleven of 13 hotels participating in the June 5 to 7 grand opening of Florida's newest state park, Lovers Key, are offering commissionable event packages, according to the Lee Island Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau. The 712-acre Lovers Key State Recreation Area is located between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach.

"This is the first time local governments and the tourism bureau have worked together to create an event to promote ecotourism, increase local occupancy rates and offer unique opportunities for commissionable sales in the off-season," a bureau spokeswoman said.

Because of previously existing discounts, she added, two of the participating hotels are not offering travel agent commissions during the event -- the Hampton Inn in Bonita Springs and the Courtyard by Marriott in Fort Myers.

At the other hotels, 10% is paid on rooms and packages; the Grandview Resort pays 10% only on room rates.

Florida's State Division of Recreation and Parks and Lee County's government have invested $5.2 million in improvements to two existing parks to create the new Lovers Key.

The facility offers hiking and biking trails and canoe and kayak rentals. There is fishing and birders will sight osprey.

Packages cover park admission, seminars on improving relationships and nature outings. Add-ons such as the Archaeological-Historical Tour to Mound Key and the Dolphin Encounter cost $20 per person.

Room rates for a single night for two start at $44 plus tax.

At the other end of the rate scale, a three-night Pampered in Pink package at the Best Western Pink Shell Beach Resort, Fort Myers Beach, includes champagne and other amenities and is priced at $558 plus tax.

Hotels paying 10% commissions in Fort Myers Beach also include the Lovers Key Beach Club, the Bay to Beach Resort, the Best Western Beach Resort, the GuestHouse Inn-Mariner's Lodge and Marina, the Outrigger Beach Resort, the Grandview Resort, the Holiday Inn Beach Resort, and the Santa Maria Resort.

In Fort Myers, they include the Springs Resort & Spa and the Santa Maria Resort.

Southwest Florida Reservations, Phone: (800) 733-7935

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