ConventionSouth

APR 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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A P R I L 2 0 1 7 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 51 F L O R I D A rant and a culinary theater featuring world-re- nowned chefs – all connected to downtown Fort Meyer's Harborside Event Center along the Caloosahatchee River, currently closed for reno- vations. The Mound House, Fort Myers Beach's oldest standing structure. which sits atop an ancient Calusa Indian shell mound, debuted $2 million in renovations and has three new galleries: Ancient People Gallery, Settlers on the Shells Gallery and the Digging Deeper Exploratory Gallery. Meeting properties in the area include Dia- mondHead Beach Resort & Spa, a 125-suite Sun- Stream Hotels & Resorts property on Fort Myers Beach, with a full-service restaurant and 8,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Captiva Island's South Seas Island Resort has 470 guest rooms, 30,000 square feet of meeting space and 26 meeting rooms. On Cape Coral, The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village has 263 rooms and 15,000 square feet of meeting space. In Sanibel, The Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa provides 30,000 square feet of meeting space. Punta Gorda/ Charlotte Harbor Halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, this modestly sized destination is just right for smaller meet- ings. Boasting Florida's second-largest harbor, the state's premier year-round eco-tourism at- traction and 200 miles of blueway trails mapped for kayakers, this charming area may be one of the Sunshine State's lesser-known outdoor ad- venture jewels. But that's changing, in no small part thanks to an innovative marketing campaign that calls attention to the destination with an in- novative original web series called "Adventure and Wildlife," developed by the Punta Gorda/En- glewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau's marketing program. There's plenty new in Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach, according to Jennifer Huber, tourism pub- lic relations manager for the Visitor & Conven- tion Bureau, including name changes for a couple of area attractions to go along with the Charlotte County destination's new designation. The popular Babcock Wilderness Adventures, now known as Babcock Ranch Eco-Tours, lets guests view wildlife such as alligators and a pan- ther during a 90-minute buggy tour through the 90,000-acre Babcock Ranch and Telegraph Cy- press Swamp. And the former Peace River Botan- ical Gardens is adding sculpture to its adornments to become the 27-acre Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens by late this year. Also planned at the outdoor attraction are more than 15,000 square feet of boardwalks and docks. A brand new outdoor adventure here is Riding the Waves, in Englewood, which offers a variety of waterway tours with a certified Florida natural- ist in two-person motorized catamarans. ► Looking to grow attendance at your next meeting? Come to the Emerald Coast! Host your next meeting or event at TOPS'L Beach & Racquet Resort. Boasting expansive meeting rooms and social gathering facilities with 250+ condos, villas, studios and homes to rent, TOPS'L is the perfect location for hosting meetings and events. With on-site tennis courts, a nature trail, multiple swimming pools and on-site restaurants & bars, this gem of a resort in Northwest Florida provides plenty of options for your guests to enjoy between events or breakout sessions. 877-288-9743 | TOPSLMeetings.com

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