Travel Weekly's Florida E-Letter: May 29, 2002

REGAL CRUISES, which bases the Regal Empress out of Port Manatee (north of Sarasota) most of the year, offers a 10% bonus commission (on top of an agent's normal commission) for the June 21 three-night cruise to Key West. Fares are from $329 per person, double. For information, call (800) 270-7245, Ext. 100.

RESORTQUEST INT'L, a Memphis-based vacation rental and property management company, signed a pact with ATA Vacations, the tour operator arm of Indianapolis-based American Trans Air, whereby ResortQuest provides condos and homes in Florida and Arizona to be used as components in commissionable ATA Vacations packages. Florida sites include Longboat Key, Sanibel Island, Naples and Orlando. ATA links Indianapolis and Chicago with Orlando, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers. For information, call (800) 442-8952 or visit

MIAMI BEACH commissioners and even the city's mayor, David Dermer, voted unanimously to extend the contract of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau for another two years. In exchange, the bureau agreed to provide the city with more exposure for its summer festival events and to spotlight its boutique hotels and gay-lesbian draws. Initially Dermer opposed the contract renewal on the grounds that the city was not getting sufficient promotion for its $5 million annual contribution.

CARLTON ORLANDO, an Atlanta-based group led by businessman Malcolm J. Gold, said it will build a 3,100-room property in Orlando. The Carlton Park Convention Hotel -- use of the name was purchased from the European-based Carlton Park chain -- is targeted to open in the Int'l Drive resort district near the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center by spring 2005. Plans for the property include 150,000 square feet of meeting space, a business center, six dining outlets and a spa.

THE SALVADOR DALI Museum, St. Petersburg, marking its 20th anniversary this year, imported a Cubism exhibit from Spain. It will be on-site through Sept. 8. For information, call (727) 823-3767.

HOTEL DEAL: The Sonesta Beach Resort, Key Biscayne, offers an Island Fest package June 1 to Sept. 15, ranging from $165 to $205 per night single or double. Clients arriving any Sunday, Monday or Tuesday who pay for three nights will get the fourth night free. For information, call (800) SONESTA or check the Web site

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