Title: Alachua County Greater Gainesville Gator tales
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089467/00002
 Material Information
Title: Alachua County Greater Gainesville Gator tales
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau
Publication Date: October-January 2005-2006
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089467
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Promoting tourism to benefit all the communities of Alachua County


Trade shows important to bringing more visitors here


It's all about getting more
people to come to Greater
Gainesville.
And so, more and more
trade shows are attended,
more media tools used and
more selling points made. The
Alachua County Visitors and
Convention Bureau is doing
more good things than it has
ever done before.
Nancy Fischer, Director
of Sales, and Kerstin Strom,
Tourism Sales Coordinator,
focus on different markets to
achieve the same goal: more
visitors, conferences and
awareness of what the area
offers.
Visuals and other materi-
als used at trade shows have
undergone a makeover and
are now attractive, appealing
and more comprehensively
depict the area's assets.
Nancy participates in
shows where the focus is on
meeting professionals respon-
sible for holding conferences.
"We position ourselves in Tal-
lahassee because of the gov-
ernment and associations who
are headquartered there.
One meeting planner can
represent hundreds of attend-
ees," she said. She added that
the VCB also positions itself
in those areas with air service
to Gainesville, such as Mem-
phis, Atlanta and Charlotte.
"That's an ongoing job."
Kerstin attends bus
shows, attended by tour oper-
ators seeking different venues
in which to take groups, and


AT TALLAHASSEE SHOW-The VCB table at the Chuck Cook Trade
Show Aug. 18 was co-hosted by Mark McClain, Director of Sales, Holi-
day Inn West. Nancy Fischer, Director of Sales, VCB, is at right.


consumer shows, attended
mostly by individuals looking
for a vacation.
"We keep putting our
name out there to people
who may not have thought of
Gainesville," she said.
The main focus for Nancy
and Kerstin, however, is the
trade shows. Here is a lineup
of recent and upcoming
shows.
For Kerstin, these in-
clude:
Bus shows: Florida
Motorcoach Assn. annual
appointment show, Aug. 30-
Sept. 1; National Tour As-
sociation (NTA) annual con-


vention, Nov. 2005 in Detroit;
Travel South, Feb. 18-22, '06
in Richmond, VA.
Consumer shows: At-
lanta Camping and RV Show,
Sept. 15-18, attending on
behalf of Alachua County and
Original Florida; Snowbird
Extravaganza (Original Flori-
da), Jan 16-18, in Lakeland.
Military shows: March
16-18, '06, in Kings Bay, May-
port, and Jacksonville.
Some recent and upcom-
ing shows for Nancy include:
Trade shows: Chuck
Cook Trade Show, Aug. 18;
Tallahassee Society of As-
sociation Executives, October


18-19, in Tallahassee, and the
Meeting Spots Show, May
2006, and Win Chesley Show,
June 2006, both in Tallahas-
see. Gainesville/Alachua
County's meeting and confer-
ence hotels sales people are
considering trade shows in
Atlanta, South Florida, Tampa
and Orland for 2006.
Similar in effort is a VCB
presentation during a two-day
preview, held by the Univer-
sity of Florida, for parents of
incoming students.
Up to 50 parents a day
may attend sessions devoted
to area attractions. Hoteliers
are invited to participate;
some even bring cookies,
which are a big hit with par-
ents. Information, along with
brochures, is available. 7

VCB wins award
for marketing

Expedition Florida: Wild
Alahcua, a 26-minute video of
attractions in Alachua County
won honorable mention at the
Governor's Conference, held
this August in Hollywood.
The award was given
"In Recognition of Outstand-
ing Achievement in Florida
Tourism Marketing" and
presented by Visit Florida and
the Florida Commission on
Tourism. Roland Loog, Direc-
tor, accepted the award on
behalf of the staff.
The video was shown in
most major markets in the
U.S. on PBS stations. 1







Fund to help

groups bring

in visitors

About $10,000 that accumu-
lates annually in the Board
of County Commissioner's
Special Projects Fund has
now been designated for edu-
cational programs.
"The potential is that,
over time, money will be
brought to the county many
times over what we'd spend,"
said Roland Loog, director,
VCB.
About $10,000 in bed
tax is allocated each year to
the BOCC's Special Projects
Fund for tourism projects.
Legally, the fund is limited to
receive only one percent of
the first two cents of the three
cents on the dollar that the
bed tax raises.
It's not a lot of money to
allow capital projects.
"Educational programs
are a good value not only
for the Tourist Development
Council, but for our groups
who receive funding," said
Roland. "We can now send
people to conferences. We
can send someone from a
historical group to a heritage
conference where they would
be given insight into what
other destinations do. The
more people we can get out to
experience what others do the
more ideas will be brought
back."
Four categories have
been identified: the Tourist
Development Council, pro-
fessional arts organizations,
community arts organizations
and eco-heritage groups.
"We can now send annu-
ally one or two members from
each category to an education
conference geared to their
type of organization," he said.
"It's a way for people to see
what the obstacles are and
what it takes to accomplish
goals." 1


1882 TREASURE-The Evinston Post Office and general store has been a vital part of this small commu-
nity for more than a century. Efforts are being made to save the building.

Paint Out to help Evinston Post Office


Fifty of Florida's finest plein
air artists are coming to-
gether for a six-day painting
marathon. This event, the
Evinston to Cross Creek Paint
Out, April 7-12, 2006, is free
and open to the public.
This is the third Artists
Alliance of North Florida
invitational and the largest
commercial paint out in the
southeastern U.S. Thousands
of enthusiasts of all ages will
follow their favorite artists,
building on the successful
Kanapaha 2002 and Bartram
2003 Paint Outs.
Painting plein air means
painting "in the air," on loca-
tion. "When coordinated
well, these events offer a rare
connection between the art-
ists, the spectator/collectors
and nature," said Annie Pais,
co-director, Artists Alliance
of North Florida. "Paint outs
are magical, immediate, spon-
taneous, educational, perfor-
mances, human, connective


and emotionally satisfying."
This April's event will
take place in an area of North
Florida known for scenic
back roads, cracker architec-
ture and views at the height of
the wildflower season. Artists
will paint from dawn to dusk
at designated areas includ-
ing the homestead of author
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
and the frontier-era Wood &





* A welcome to Michael
Munroe and Doyle Du-
rando, recent additions at the
Hilton University of Florida
Conference Center. Michael,
from the Hilton Alexandria
Mark Center in Virginia, is
the new Director of Sales and
Marketing. Doyle is the new
Conference Planning Man-
ager. Doyle, who began his
career at the Hilton here, pre-
viously worked in Atlanta. 1


Swink Old Store Post Office
in nearby Evinston.
The event will raise funds
and awareness for keeping
the building in full operation
as one of the last full-service
country-store post offices in
the U.S. A portion of the art
sales is earmarked for the
fund established by the Con-
servation Trust for Florida
for the preservation of this
National Register of Historic
Places landmark. The gala
and sale of paintings takes
place at the Thomas Center,
Gainesville, April 14, with
sales continuing on April 15.
For more information,
contact Annie W. Pais, co-
director, Artists Alliance of
North Florida, at 352 372-
0449 or at www.AAONF.org.
Ms. Pais, along with Stewart
Thomas have written How to
Coordinate a Successful Pain-
tout, which appeared in the
Artists Magazine. The guide
may be viewed at www.florida-
seden.org. 1











Gardens and more gardens


There's no place quite like
it. Oh, sure, you've seen
parks and possibly other
botanical gardens, but the
ever-changing landscape at
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
offers its own unique take on
nature's beauty and diversity.
While one can rush
through the varied gardens-
understandably eager to
see what is around the next
bend-it is a place that
can also fascinate, refresh
the spirit, calm the mind
and, as much as we dislike
mentioning education, provide


Special events

ach March, about
the time of the spring
equinox. the Spring
Garden Festival is the
region's premier garden-
ing event ith more
than 200 booths. These
feature plant. landscape
displays, educational ex-
hibits. arts and crafts, and
more There are hourly
seminars. live entertain-
ment, live and silent
auctions and a children's
activity area. The normal
admission fee applies.
Every October.
an Open House and
Fall Plant Sale is held.
V\-ndrs feature plants.
gardening merchandise
and infii ration. Free
ad mission.
'he annual Winter
Bamboo Sale. % here
as many as ;1 different
kinds of bambo-o may
be purchased, is offered:
every' January and Febru-
ary. Bamboo is sold, dug
to ii de-r, from Kanapaha's
collection.


much to learn if that's your
desire. So whether you have
only an hour to spend, or
hours in which to linger,
Kanapaha will reward you.
Kanapaha Botanical
Gardens is the only botanical
garden in north Florida, a
regional treasure serving
a million and a half people.
It's a place to come back to
season after season. It never
stays the same. While the
summer months may present
the most color, Florida's other
seasons are mild so that just
being outside is a pleasure.
; / .. .,'. *S -. ,, !I' ..... : ,1

Each botanical garden
offers something special.
Think of a botanical garden
as somewhat like a zoo in
which exotic species are
enjoyed. Fortunately, as
plants don't need cages, they
can be presented in a pleasing
landscape. The limitations
are in what the environment
will allow to grow and, in
some cases, what restrictions
have been placed by trusts or
bequests.
Kanapaha began poor in
1978-at first only a dream
in the mind of founder and
director Donald Goodman-
with no endowments or
bequests that might have
helped. Having no big donors
eventually turned out to be
an advantage because no
restrictions were placed on
what could be done. "We
could do what we wanted,"
said Goodman.
The result has been
14 different gardens on 62
acres beside 250-acre Lake
Kanapaha. Paths take you
from place to place with
benches and gazebos to tempt
you to loiter along the way.
There is a greater variety


THE WATER GARDENS-If we could only show you how gor-
geous this color is. Best you come and see for yourselves.


4







.


THE BAMBOO GARDEN-It's one of Kanapaha's treasures.






of plants here than at most
botanical gardens, plus some
outstanding signature plants.


Kanapaha has the largest
public collection of bamboo in
the state-one of Goodman's
passions. It's an astounding
collection.
You may never wish to sit
long enough to watch grass
grow, but in the spring you
can sit long enough to watch
the shoots grow-at nearly
two inches an hour.
Kanapaha showcases
the troublesome but valuable
Grand Victoria water lily,
also known as the water
platter. Normally four to
six feet across, those at the
garden have reached seven
feet. Kanapaha has three of
the plants, each grown from
seed. However, sun, rain and
sky have to be agreeable to
its needs or this fussy queen
of plants will not be pleased.
However, you will enjoy the
results of those efforts.
Until recently, Kanapaha



Directions: Kanapaha
Botanical Gardens
is located off Archer
Road. (State Road 241.
Gainesville, 1.3 miles west
"l 1-75. Exit #384.
Open Mon., Tues..
W\ed.. Fri. 9-5; Sat-Sun
9 a.m. to dusk. Closed
Thursday.
Paths are paved and
wheelchair accessible. A
whetlchair is available on
request. Free guided tours
for groups of 10 or more
are available if requested
at least two weeks in
advance.
Admission fees:
Adults, .85. Children, 6-13,
S3: under six, free. Fees
may 'Iaingt without noticc.
14700 SW58 Drive,
Gainesville. Fl. 32608
(352i 372-4981
u'wuw.kanapaha.org


THE GRAND VICTORIA WATERLILY-This uncommon waterlily can reach seven feet across, but growing
conditions must be just right. Kanapaha grows three of the plant, each from seed.


had a spectacular triple-
crowned cabbage palm tree,
one of only two in the state,
and two double-crowned palm
trees. Thanks to hurricanes,
the triple-crowned now has
just one crown, and only one
double-crowned survived.
Kanapaha has the largest
herb garden in the southeast,
with both a medicinal and a
scented herb garden.
The Water Gardens were
developed in collaboration
with the local utility company
to use treated effluent.
Reclaimed water is used
throughout the gardens as
a source of irrigation, an
excellent model of water use
for non-drinking functions.
Other gardens include
the butterfly garden, the rose
garden, the azalea-camellia
garden, the rock garden, the
hummingbird garden and
more.
Each plant is identified
with its common name, its
scientific name, where it


originated and any anecdotal
information, such as a
medicinal value.


We've given the gardens
the major play. However,
the first thing you will see
at Kanapaha is the lovely
Summer House. Plants
worthy of moments of
admiration surround the
entrance to the building.
Inside are a really nice
gift shop, a desk where
you pay admission, and
technical and not-so-technical
information about gardening
as well as maps and
information about Kanapaha
itself.
On the walls of the
octagonal lobby and
elsewhere are paintings,
mostly of landscapes, which
are for sale. A kiosk, provided
by the utility company, gives
an audio-visual overview of
the various gardens.
Summer House, suitable


for weddings and other
events, also has meeting
rooms and a small kitchen.
A plant nursery is located
outside. Want to sit a while?
The wrap-around porch
provides comfortable
rocking chairs. A picnic area
is nearby, complete with
a gazebo, water and three
enormous staghorn ferns
hanging from the branches of
a live oak.
And one last word.
What does Kanapaha
mean? Kanapaha comes
from two Timucuan words,
one meaning house and, the
other, cabbage palm leaf.
Together they refer to the
thatched homes of the Indians
who once lived beside the
nearby lake.
While the intent is to
preserve a bit of the area's
history by keeping the name,
it's nice to think that this
place is a home, home to
a wonderful menagerie of
plants.







Spotlight on historical

homes, Heritage Trail


' hat's in one penny out of
four? All sorts of dreams that
might even come true.
Under discussion is
whether Alachua County
Commissioners should add
one more penny to the three
cents visitors pay now on their
lodgings. Already, the three
percent bed tax helps pay for
tourism ads, festivals, confer-
ences, sports tournaments,
cultural activities and more.
An added cent, some ad-
vocates say, could help fund
a major sports complex that
would attract major state and
regional sports tournaments
and that could be used by
residents at other times.
The idea began when San-
ta Fe Community College re-
quested a fourth cent to help
fund a minor-league baseball
team and a stadium at the col-
lege. The minor league idea
fell through, but the idea of
adding a fourth cent to the
bed tax stayed alive.
"It's been our stance all
the time that since the bed
tax is an enterprise fund, that
whatever the County Com-
mission decides to do, the
enterprise needs to be the
prime consideration," said Ro-
land Loog, Director, Alachua
County Visitors and Conven-
tion Bureau.
Loog noted research that
shows visitors pay $6 in local
taxes for every dollar in bed
tax they pay. In addition to
the bed tax, visitors pay 6.25
percent in local taxes on their
lodgings-bringing in almost
$4 on average in tax revenue.
Also, research shows that the
average tourist spends twice
outside the hotel than they
spend inside. "So tourists help
the general fund, also."
"The more tourists you
bring in, the more in more tax
revenue you bring in, revenue
you can use for anything.


The good thing is that
tourists leave money and then
go away. You do not have to
build schools or parks for
them," Loog said.
"The bed tax is only a
tax on visitors' lodgings, and
by law visitors must be well
represented in all we do. The
sports complex is the best
idea so far," he said. Two ideas
have been floated for a sports
complex, one near downtown
at Main Street and Depot Ave-
nue or one at Diamond Sports
Park on Parker Road, west of
1-75 off Newberry Road.
Loog noted that only $7
million of a bond could be lev-
eraged through the bed tax.
"It's not a significant amount."
For this reason, a less-expen-
sive steel structure may be
more achievable than a down-
town structure, which would
need the city to partner with
the county and would require
using eminent domain to ac-
quire sufficient land, he said.
"A Diamond Sports Park
is more affordable, and could
cost $7 million with enough
money to fix up the ballfields.
A sports complex here would
fit well with the expanding
Newberry Sports Complex."
The Tourist Development
Council, Loog said, made it
clear than there are several
considerations: cost of proj-
ect, sustainability, return on
investment for tourism, loca-
tion and the variety of events
that can be held there. These
might include high school
graduations, dog and cat
shows, and small consumer
shows.
Also, it's important to
note that ideas such as a cul-
tural complex and fairground
arenas are being advocated.
Members of the VCB re-
cently visited Coral Springs to
examine the sports complex
and meet with their counter-
parts there. 1


.. lachua County's histori-
cal homes will see a lot more
life as plans move forward to
spotlight these treasures.
With the help of a $5,000
grant from VisitFlorida, the
state's tourism agency, a
brochure is being developed
to help market these homes
to bus tour operators, confer-
ence planners, retirement
homes, at trade shows and to
interested individuals.
The six homes are those
at Marjorie K. Rawlings His-
toric State Park, Haile Home-
stead, Matheson Historic
Trust, Morningside Nature
Center, Dudley Farm Historic
State Park and the Thomas
Center.
Coni Gesualdi, manager,
City of Gainesville Cultural
Affairs, which serves as the
fiscal agent for the project,
said she is working with
Kerstin Strom of the Alachua
County Visitors and Conven-


tion Bureau to plan direct-
mail campaigns.
"We are also looking for
ways to make bus tours more
attractive, such as docent-led
tours, refreshments and op-
portunities for lunch at an
historic home," she said.
In addition, said Ms. Ge-
sualdi, she is working with
the North Florida Regional
Planning Council to develop
materials for a self-drive tour
of the Black Heritage Trail.
"For the past three years,
we have had grants for a
Black Heritage brochure and
a webpage that encompasses
five counties of the trail. We
want to extend the Black
Heritage Trail all the way to
Tallahassee."
"This is the first of its
kind. What I love about this
is that it keeps growing,"
she said, adding that a local
historian has been hired to
embellish the website, black-
heritagencforg, 1


MT. PLEASANT METHODIST CHURCH is one of the stops in Gaines-
ville along the Black Heritage Trail.








Phone numbers you can use
Call lt hild titl s. dates anid w'hat'l it rrent.


U '
Listed below are a few of the special events currently scheduled. Please
check with www.VisitGainesville.net, with newspapers or with the
places listed at left for more activities.


For all sports, dates &
times. 375- 4683


Hippodrome State Theatre.
375-4477
Phillips Center for the
Performingin Arts. 392-
2787 iARTS)
G'ville Play house, 37-I4941
Acrosstown Reperiory
Theatre. 37,-i-916
Constans Fheatr:, ULiF. 392-



Harn Museum of tArt. ;3l-

LiF Gallery. :Dg-.I3''Ill
Thomas Center Galleries.
334-51 .64
Santa Fe Comm. College
Gallery. :'95-5621


Fl. Museum of Natural
History. 84t6-21.0)1
Alachua County Historic
Trust, Matheson
Museum. 378-22'80.
lariorie Rawlings Historic
State Park. Cross
Creek, 4i6-3672
Dudley Farm Hist,.,ric State
Park. 472-11-12
Mlicanopy Historical SocitCty
Mus-eum. Nlicanupy.
41i6320-: I
Hawthorne Historical
RlusLIuml & Cultural
Center: 481-44-91
Kanapalha Botanical
Gardens. 3?,7-i2l1
Mur ning-iidc Nature Center:
3:34-217)1


For info. 3,; 45-L'950i)


Every Friday, except Nov-
March: "Let's Go
Downtown" Plaza Series,
music, 8 p.m., Gainesville:
10/1-2: Art in the Village,,
110 artists, Thornebrook
Village: 376-6062
10/7: Homecoming Parade,
Gator Gallop, Growl, Univ.
Ave., Stadium: 337-0022
10/28-30: Antique Show, Sale,
25 dealers, food, G'sville
Women's Club: 335-5534
10/31: "Boo at the Zoo," kids'
Halloween event, SFCC
Teaching Zoo: 395-5601
11/2: United States Army
Field Band, free, Phillips
Center: 392-2787
11/5-6: Micanopy Fall Harvest
Festival, arts/crafts, food,
auction, more: 375-2-21
11/11: Blues Concert kickoff
to festival, G'vlle Plaza:
11/12-13: 24th annual


Downtown Festival & Art
Show, award-winning, 240
artists, 3 stages of music,
11/19-20: Craft Festival, N.
Florida's largest indoor
crafts show, O'Connell
Center: 392-7238
11/26: Annual Cane Boil,
Morningside Nature
Center: 334-2170
11/26-27: First Poe Springs
Bluegrass Festival, Poe
Springs County Park
12/3-1/10: Plaza Ice Palace,
outdoor ice skating rink,
food, G'vlle Community
Plaza: 334-5064
12/31: New Year's Eve
celebration, G'vlle
Community Plaza
1/28-2/5: 20th Annual
Hoggetowne Medieval
Faire, 2 weekends, artists,
jousting, more, Alachua
County Fairgrounds


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