Travel Weekly's Florida E-Letter: July 17, 2002

SOME LATE CHANGES to the agenda for the Governor's Conference on Tourism set for Aug. 11 to 13 at the Gaylord Palms, Orlando, include an address by Vicki Escarra, executive vp and chief marketing officer of Delta Air Lines, who will discuss what it takes for an airline to thrive in the post-Sept. 11 environment. She is the luncheon speaker on Aug. 12. Also, at one of the breakout sessions on Aug. 12, Barry Pitegoff, vp-research for Visit Florida, will discuss how new insights into consumer behavior and U.S. Census data from 2000 were combined to re-shape Visit Florida's understanding of the American vacationer. At another breakout session, Aug. 12, Kevin Coffey, founder of Corporate Travel Safety, Calabasas, Calif., who was a detective at Los Angeles Airport, will discuss security while traveling. For information, check the Web site

OVERRIDE COMMISSION offers continue to stream in from all types of properties:

• The Mansion House INNcentive from the Mansion House Bed & Breakfast in St. Petersburg, calls for 15% pay on rack rate business of two or more nights through Sept. 30. Rates are from $139 for a deluxe queen, $149 for a luxury queen room, $165 for a luxury king and $189 for a Carriage House. Bookings must be made directly with the property at (800) 274-7520. The Web site is at
• Glenbrook Resort Management, Clermont, offers three- to six-bedroom vacation homes with pools at the Glenbrook Resort and will pay 18% on rack rates and 12% on discounted rates on stays through March 19. Rack rates are $159 to $269 per night. There is a minimum three-night stay, according to Keree Brannen, executive marketing coordinator for Global Marketing Services, which represents Glenbrook Resort. For information, call (800) 353-1663 or check the Web site,

• Ian Schrager Hotels will manage the 331-room Shore Club in Miami Beach, marking the first time that the company is operating a hotel it doesn't own. Chairman and CEO Ian Schrager said that the move is part of a new strategy to seek out management agreements with stand-alone hotels. The hotel firm also assumed a partnership position in the Shore Club.
• Hospitality Management, Bonita Springs, Fla., was named to run the 270-room Ramada Inn and Conference Center, Plant City, which just began a $2 million renovation to be completed this fall. Plans also call for expanding the business base by seeking motorcoach and other tour groups.
• Sunstream Hotels & Resorts, Fort Myers Beach, was named to run the 103-room Holiday Inn Gulfside also in Fort Myers Beach. The property, built in 1969, will undergo a $750,000 renovation starting in late August.
• The Don CeSar Beach Resort & Spa, St. Petersburg Beach, picked Aug. 9 to 11 for its first wedding vow renewal weekend. The ceremony takes place on the beach at sunset. The related two-night Pink Dreams & Promises package costs $299 per couple, and covers a reception, dinner, dancing, champagne toast, hotel room, a relationship seminar, a couple's massage and sunrise yoga. Tax and the resort fee are additional. For information, call (800) 282-1116.

JETBLUE plans to add up to 19 flights from New York's JFK to five Florida cities this winter, expanding the schedule to as many as 42 daily departures vs. a peak of 30 last winter. Destinations and frequencies are: Fort Lauderdale, up to 16 daily departures; Orlando, nine; West Palm Beach, eight; Tampa, five; and Fort Myers, four. For information, check the Web site,

PALACE ENTERTAINMENT, Irvine, Calif., bought the Silver Springs attraction and its sister water park, Wild Waters, both located near Ocala, Fla. Alfasmart Parks, Jacksonville, Fla., sold the parks for an undisclosed sum. Included in the deal were some family entertainment centers in California, Florida, Georgia and Texas.

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