JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- First Coast Attractions, a marketing
organization based in this area, was formed last August to
encourage Orlando-bound motorcoach tours and individual visitors to
extend their stays.
The organization's treasurer, Jim Uccio, owner of Tour Time, a
Middleburg, Fla.-based receptive operator who does customized
packaging for the group, said First Coast's membership has grown
from the original three founding concerns to 12.
Uccio said his company saves tour operators time and money by
customizing packages they might otherwise have to spend time
planning and pricing for themselves.
First Coast Attractions also does business under the name
JaxAttrax. While the group's members are competitors, they do pool
funds with a common goal of increasing tour group and individual
stays in the area, which includes St. Augustine and Amelia
The organization's Web site, at www.jaxattrax.com,
has tour component suggestions for in-state and out-of-state bus
groups and explains why suppliers should join. There are links to
11 of the 12 members.
The members, in addition to Tour Time, include the Alhambra
Dinner Theatre; Anheuser Busch, which has a local beer brewery
attraction; Jacksonville Landing, a dining, shopping and
entertainment district; Jacksonville Zoo; Kennel Clubs of Jax (dog
racing); the Museum of Science and History; River Cruise Boats, an
operator of party cruises; River City Opry, and World Golf
The Comfort Suites World Golf Village and the Jacksonville and
the Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau also are members.
Because of First Coast's efforts, Floridave Travel, Coshocton,
Ohio, which runs off-the-beaten-path trips to Florida and
elsewhere, operated its first three-night tour to Jacksonville in
In the past, the city was a brief stopover on Florida
Also scheduling stopovers this year will be Diamond Tours,
Englishtown, N.J., which sent 65 motorcoaches to the area last
year. For the first quarter of this year, it expects to send around
100 motorcoaches from all over the U.S., according to Jeff Ferraro,
Officers of First Coast Attractions are Dane Lucas of River
Cruises, chairman; Jack Booth of Alhambra Dinner Theatre,
president; Uccio, treasurer; Janice Lowe, Jacksonville Landing,
secretary, and Katie Kight, Jacksonville Zoo, board member.
Kitty Ratcliffe of the Jacksonville & the Beaches Convention
& Visitors Bureau, is the advisor.
For more information on group and individual services, call Tour
Time, (800) 822-4278.