Travel Weekly's Florida E-Letter: August 29, 2001

HAWK'S KAY RESORT, Duck Key, in the Florida Keys, followed up its $50 million expansion and renovation by naming a new sales team led by Paul Drake, director of sales. The expansion included 269 two-bedroom waterfront villas; the 15,000-square-foot Overseas Conference Center and a Project Challenge Course. The latter includes a climbing wall for corporate team-building programs. The new facilities complement the pre-existing 160 rooms and suites and the 10,000-square-foot Dolphin Conference Center.

TWO MERISTAR HOSPITALITY-owned resorts on Sanibel Island, Fla. -- the Sanibel Inn and the Song of the Sea -- began extending a $10 per night Do Not Disturb room credit to guests not requiring daily housekeeping services. The credit increases to $15 per night, Jan. 2 to April 30. Towel replenishment and trash removal needs are telephoned to the front desk. The Do Not Disturb rate (commissionable) can be requested when the reservation is made. Other MeriStar properties in southwest Florida may add this option.

FOR THE RECORD, the six shark bite incidents over the weekend of Aug. 18 and 19 and the four thereafter, occurred in New Smyrna Beach, 15 miles south of Daytona Beach. In fact, according to the Volusia County Beach Department, nearly all of the county's 20 shark or marine animal attacks occurred in New Smyrna Beach -- the bulk within one half-mile south of the Ponce Inlet fishing jetty. Since last Friday, a one-mile stretch of New Smyrna Beach, including that area, was closed off to surfers and swimmers as a precaution. Only one minor incident was reported this year in the Daytona Beach area -at Wilbur-by-the-Sea. Daytona Beach so far this year has not had any beach closures.

WINGS AND WAVES, set for Nov. 10 and 11 in Daytona Beach, will be a one-time special event to mark the 75th anniversary of local Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. It will feature the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, skydivers, acrobatic fliers, speedboat racing, search-and-rescue demonstrations, two beach runs, food, music and a free outdoor concert Nov. 10 by the Beach Boys. For information, check the Web site,

A PRINT YOUR OWN e-ticket was introduced by Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks, St. Louis, parent of the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks. Initially, orders will be limited to one-day admissions to SeaWorld Adventure Park, Orlando. Using a credit card, and accessing, customers pay the gate price (unless a discount is in effect) and print out their ticket on their own computer paper. The printout will have an image read by a gate scanner and the traveler also will be asked for identification. Travel agents are not eligible for a reduced rate on the new e-ticket, but they continue to be able to issue 10% or 12% commissionable SeaWorld park tickets by accessing the Airlines Reporting Corp. through their CRS, or by ordering in bulk (15 or more tickets) at a 10% discount.

ACCUWEATHER.COM and Visit Florida, the state's official tourism marketing concern, signed a pact to lure potential travelers desiring to keep warm to Visit Florida's Web site, users who request forecasts for areas where the temperatures will be 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder will receive, in addition to that forecast, a special, targeted text link to Visit Florida. To corral potential vacationers, AccuWeather's marketing technology relies on the concern's ability to isolate and identify accurately the current weather conditions in every U.S. ZIP code and then supply the related banner advertising or text links.

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