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Beach Getaways Within Reach

Caught this article in TCPalm this morning…… Nice to be in the limelight.

Russ Lemmon: Lucky for Vero Beach, Estefan picked up where Dodgers left off
By Russ Lemmon

Originally published 06:47 p.m., March 2, 2011 
Updated 11:44 p.m., March 2, 2011
An assortment of Lemmon Drops culled from a trip to Meltdownville with Charlie Sheen:
• The Dodgers put us on the map, and Gloria Estefan is keeping us there.
Thanks to the singer’s Costa d’Este resort, Vero Beach received a prominent mention last month on NBC’s “Today” show.
During a Feb. 17 travel segment called “Beach Getaways Within Reach,” viewers saw a big map of Florida with an arrow pointed toward Vero Beach. We were No. 2 on the list compiled by Nilou Motamed of Travel + Leisure magazine.
In discussing Vero Beach with “Today” co-host Meredith Viera, Motamed mentioned Costa d’Este had rooms available for $139 a night.
Talk about marketing gold.
“The phones did not stop ringing for a few days,” said Monica Smiley, the director of sales and marketing.
Oh, yeah?
How many of those calls resulted in a room being booked?
“Over 250 room nights, and in excess of $50,000 in revenues have been generated thus far,” she said, “and the property is still receiving calls.”
“It was very effective,” said Charles Nehme, the general manager of Costa d’Este.
I would have guessed maybe 20 or 30 room nights were booked. It just goes to show the power of television.
Keep in mind, the mention on national television wouldn’t have happened if not for the mention in a national magazine.
Yes, it started with the March issue of Travel + Leisure.
“Editorial coverage is always important to a hotel,” Smiley said, “because the viewpoint expressed is not paid for, and reflects an unbiased opinion. Having editorial coverage reach a national audience is priceless.”
I’ll say.
• Have you watched the Vero Beach government channel on Comcast lately? Now, when a meeting isn’t being shown, it looks like a cable news channel — complete with a news ticker at the bottom of the screen.
Wait a minute. The government is dispensing news? The city may want to think twice about doing that.
Still, give the city credit for giving the government channel a makeover.
“We’re trying to offer a little variety,” said Holt Sutherland, the city’s webmaster and broadcast coordinator.
Believe it or not, the variety of which he speaks includes reruns of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and John Wayne movies. They are shown on a split screen. (The old shows are on the right-hand side of the screen, and local information is on the left-hand side.).
Sutherland says television programs and movies in the public domain — such as those available on archive.org — may be shown on the split screen.
• Signs for the 26th annual Italian Food Festival, scheduled for Friday though Sunday in Vero Beach, include three very important words: “Under the tents.”
In other words, the event at the corner of 16th Avenue and 25th Street will go on — rain or shine. Last year, the weather did not cooperate very well.
How is the food preparation going?
“So far we have made 250 gallons of sauce,” George Dann said Monday. “Also, 4,000 meatballs, 550 stuffed peppers, and much, much more!”
• In his e-mail promoting the Fellsmere Cracker Playday Rodeo — scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. — Wayne Henderson promised there would be mutton-bustin’.
Hmmm. I don’t think I want to know what that is!
• I was happy to see the Rotary Club of Orchid Island selected Nora Kane as its High School Student of the Month. (Check out page 18B in Wednesday’s paper.) She’s very deserving of the honor.
You may recall I wrote about the greeting cards Nora designed, and she is donating every penny of the proceeds to SafeSpace. In early January, she donated $163 to the women’s shelter.As of Wednesday afternoon, an additional $480 has been raised for SafeSpace.
The cards are available at Polished, a salon at 2919 Cardinal Drive.
• Chuck Balnius, a member of our sports department, reports there’s another sign the Dodgers are in our rearview mirror:
Inside Bobby’s restaurant on Ocean Drive, the big photo of owner Bobby McCarthy with Tommy Lasorda has been replaced with a photo of astronaut Al Worden.

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