Title: Alachua County Greater Gainesville Gator tales
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089467/00003
 Material Information
Title: Alachua County Greater Gainesville Gator tales
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau
Publication Date: July-October 2006
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089467
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

Promoting tourism to benefit all the communities of Alachua County
- i... a "" ".. a M i

real nice group of
people" visited North Central
Florida for the first time last
May, coming from France,
Argentina, Egypt, Republic of
China, Kuwait, Denmark, Ja-
pan, Singapore and Russia to
experience the area's unique
Fifteen took part in a
familiarization (or "fam")
tour offered by the Alachua
County Visitors and Conven-
tion Bureau. The intent was
to show tourism professionals
the variety this area offers so
each could recommend, with
first-hand knowledge, what
is here.
"It was an unqualified
success," said Roland Loog,
Director, VCB, who hosted
the tour. "Ours was the only
fam tour that filled out of
seven offered."
The tour followed Pow
Wow, one of the travel indus-
try's biggest conferences,
held May 6-10 in Orlando by
the Travel Industry Assn.
The TIA is a non-profit trade
association that promotes the

RESCUE COMPLETE-Only a dunking in Orange Lake gave a
moment's worry. Thankfully, not an alligator was in sight.

'Fam' tours don't

get better than this

interests and concerns of the puffy clouds. The river was
U.S. travel industry, like glass. They were sur-
"We started north prised at such abundant wil-
through a thunderstorm. On derness, the miles of vastness
entering the Suwanee in our and how pristine it was. We
houseboat, the skies parted
and sunshine came out with .a L 6s.

headed up the Steinhatchee,
spotting manatees and alliga-
tors," Roland said.
Staying the first night
at Steinhatchee Landing Re-
sort, a created 1890s Florida
town, the day was topped off
with a great seafood dinner.
Roland recalled the peaceful-
ness of the following morn-
ing, sitting on his cabin porch
watching his guests enjoy the
Back to the water, they
drifted down the Ichetucknee
in canoes, "a great trip." In
Gainesville that night, the
group divided to experience
different restaurants and
downtown activities.
A "spectacular" breakfast
at the Sweetwater Branch Inn
the next morning started off a
day that included visits to the
Natural History Museum and
its Butterfly Rainforest, the
Harn, lunch at the Harn caf6,
and a campus tour.
A trip to Micanopy in-
cluded ice cream, a chance to
Continued on next page

THE GROUP-Ready for an adventure, this international
group sets out on the Suwanee River.


Fam tour

Continued from previous page
browse and shop, and a visit
to the Marjorie K. Rawlings
Historic State Park and Or-
ange Lake, where once more
on the water, they paddled
kayaks and canoes. Two
unfortunately tipped their
canoe, and while Roland had
visions of curious alligators,
the two were quickly out of
the water.
A dinner at "706" closed
out the tour with everyone
talking about their experi-
ences. One typical remark
was from Hosan of Egypt
who said he'd been attending
Pow Wow for 20 years and
this was the best post-Pow
Wow fam tour he had ever
"They truly felt this area
was a place where culture
and nature meet," said Ro-
Although this was the
most extensive fam tour the
VCB has yet scheduled, four
or five are given each year,
almost exclusively to travel
writers in response to group
or individual requests. These
help generate sales of specif-
ic destinations with articles
on specific aspects of this
area appearing around the
country and the world. 7

Works in


hankss go to Rick Crider
and his staff at the Gainesville
Regional Airport for bringing
the services of DayJet to our
area. Gainesville will be one
of five hubs for this new air
We also applaud the
hard work and efforts of the
Tourist Development Council
in putting forth proposals for
use of a fourth cent to the bed
tax. -1

Appr at on, fun, awards all part

n- _J "F

A WINNER!-Silvia Washington holds the grand-prize tro-
phy her bedmaking skills won for the Best Western Gateway
I 1L .1

SLEEPING ON THE JOB?-Not really. But who can blame Al-
bert for testing out the mattresses and cozying up on one with
a comfy stuffed sheep?

Even after 14 years of
bedmaking, the enthusiasm
hasn't dimmed. Nor the ex-
Tourism Week, May 15-
20, was once again celebrated
with an array of events to
thank those in the service
and hotel industry for jobs
well done.
With a lot of hoopla
that included Albert and the
print and broadcast press, 19
contestants from area hotels
pitted their skills against each

other at Wayne's Bedding and
The first-prize winner
was Silvia Washington from
Best Western Gateway Grand.
Second-place winner was Eva
Palacka, Paramount Plaza
Hotel, and Antonia Koce-
lova, also of the Paramount,
was third. They won $200,
$100 and $50 respectively.
The Best Western Gate-
way Grand took home the
grand-prize trophy.
Homewood Sites and

'~' "'

the UF Hilton Hotel each
received Spirit Awards for the
enthusiasm of their competi-
Judging was based on
neatness as well as speed.
Thanks go to the judges: Rick
Feree, retired tourism profes-
sional; Sandy Delosua, WCJB-
TV 20 reporter, and Donnie
Craine, head diving coach,
University of Florida.
The Alachua County Visi-
tors and Convention Bureau,
the Hospitality Council and
the Gainesville Sports Orga-
nizing Committee co-spon-
sored the event.

Banyan's Restaurant
won first place in the fourth
annual Server's Contest, com-
peting against Cross Creek,
Leonardo's and Third Place
Pub and Grill. It was a series
of fun challenges to test the
wait staff's skills.

Together, Keep Alachua
County Beautiful and the Visi-
tors and Convention Bureau
made the following awards:
Best of the Best: UF
Hilton Hotel and Conference
Award of Excellence:
the Best Western Gateway
Award of Excellence:
Residence Inn by Marriott
Award of Excellence:
Homewood Inn and Suites
Superior Small Lodg-
ings: Comfort Inn University
Best Bed and Break-
fast: Sweetwater Branch Inn
Most Improved: Howard
Johnson Express
Best Use of Space: Fair-
field Inn
Best Use of Color:
Cabot Lodge
Thanks, everyone. 1

;; II C -, LI

____ *' I Pd i )aIF

. ou'll find art just about
wherever you look in Gaines-
ville-in a pizza place or
restaurant, bookstores and
government buildings, in the
airport and on the street and,
of course, in our very fine mu-
seum and our many galleries.
Something's almost
always going on. We like to
celebrate art and celebrate
with art. Scores attend open-
ings of exhibitions. Our arts
festivals are big news. Such
appreciation for art-and the
Florida landscape--has lured
scores of artists to this area.
Our local artists, many of
them brilliant interpreters of
the Florida region, work in
oils, watercolors, pen and ink,
glass, clay-most media--and
So take a look, attend an
exhibition, watch plein air art-
ists at work. Have fun.

Special activities
Our arts festivals attract
hundreds of artists, local and
out of state, and thousands of
onlookers from all over our

A Parade of Galleries

THE HARN MUSEUM is our most prestigious venue for the arts. Along with the Museum of
Natural History and the Performing Arts Center, it makes up the Cultural Complex.

region. (See also #5 Festivals
and Fairs in our Greater
Gainesville listings.)
The area's oldest arts
event, the Santa Fe Com-

.U .

A SPECIAL EVENT-A six-day painting marathon drew 50
of Florida's finest plein air artists and thousands of painting
enthusiasts to a variety of sites. Part of the proceeds went to
raise funds for the Woods & Swink post office, above. Linda
Pence is the artist. More such events are anticipated.

munity College Spring Arts
Festival, features fine arts,
crafts, entertainment with
more than 200 artists from
around the country. It's held
in April on NE 1st St. from
6th Ave. south.
Also highly acclaimed
is the Downtown Festival
and Art Show, held in early
November annually for more
than 20 years along Gaines-
ville's downtown streets.
In early October, Art in
Thornebrook Village, a fine
arts juried show, is held in
early October on NW 43rd
Street, just north of NW 16th
Not a festival, but a fun
happening on the last Friday
evening of every month is
the ArtWalk, complete with
munchies, beverages and
sometimes a horse and buggy
to take you. Held from 7 to 10
p.m., the ArtWalk begins at
Harold's Frame Shop and in-
cludes about a dozen studios,
galleries and other collec-
tions. Maps showing locations

are at featured places.
Smaller arts events
throughout the year are abun-
dant, so check the newspaper.

The Samuel P. Harn
Museum of Art, one of the
largest art museums in the
southeast, is a teaching mu-
seum with a premier eclectic
collection, including a Monet.
A new wing for contemporary
works opened recently, along
with a caf6.
Part of the University of
Florida, the Harn is situated
in the Cultural Complex at
Hull Road just off NW 43rd
Street. 392-9826
Open Tues-Fri, 11-5; Sat, 10-5;
Sun, 1-5. Closed Mondays.

I .
Where to start? Individualis-
tic, eclectic, traditional, seri-
ous and provocative-there
are many to enjoy.

i 1!', ,- ltenter i .,l i I
302 NE 6th Ave., Gainesville

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352 334-2197
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5
p.m.; Sat Sun, 1 to 4.
The Center is recommended
also for its period rooms,
historical displays and archi-
tecture. The first-floor Main
Gallery holds eight to 10 exhi-
bitions a year; and don't miss
the Mezzanine Gallery.

5402 NW 8th Ave.
352 378-1383
Open Mon-Sat, 9-6; Sun-12-5
One of the shops at Greenery
Square, this artists' coopera-
tive showcases more than 60
local artists.

21 SE 2nd Pl., Gainesville
352 375-1911
Normally open from 9 to 5,
but call in case the staff's on
a photo assignment. The gal-
lery features contemporary
work, often edgy in nature,
of local and some national

101 SE 2nd Pl., Sun Center,
352 375-0260
Open Tues-Fri, 11:30-5:30;
Sat, 11-4
Exclusive gallery for John Mo-
ran, Florida photographer

Sector i ..., Gai lery
702 W. University Ave.
352 271-4243
Open Mon-Fri, 9-6; Sat, 10-2
Eclectic collection of more
than 20 artists, from near and

McIntvre Stained ('
- ., . Art C 'i
2441 NW 43rd St. Gainesville
352 372-2752

ECLECTIC MIX-Some galleries specialize. Others draw from
a variety of genres, such as Hector's, shown above. Owner
Hector Puig adjusts the arrangement.

Open Mon-Fri, 10-5; Sat. 11-3,
also by appointment.
The owners' glass studio is on
site. It features stained glass
works, plus art by 30 local art-
ists in a variety of media

3842 Newberry Rd.
352 336-3175
Open Mon-Thurs., 10-7; Fri-
Sat, 10-8; Sun, 11-5
An American crafts gallery
featuring works of more than
300 artists and showcasing
stick furniture, jewelry and
local painter Linda Blondheim

113 S. Main St., Gainesville
www. eleanorblairstudio. corn
Open Tues-Sat. 4 to 7 p.m.
One of the area's best-known
landscape artists.

3415 W. University Ave.
352 377-2577
Open Mon-Fri, 10-6; Sat, 1-5
Works of the commercial

I 1ri n s I
115 N. Main St.
High Springs
386 454-1808
Open Mon-Sat, 10-5; Sun,
An American craft gallery
specializing in pottery, hand-
blown glass and regional

101 State Road 26, Melrose
352 475-3866
Open Fri, 5-8; Sat, 10-6; Sun,
Sixteen artists exhibit in this
coop gallery. New shows open
the first Friday of each month
and often include guest art-

2441 NW 43rd St., Gainesville
352 378-4947
Open Mon-Fri, 11-5; Sat, 10-5
Featuring art, crafts, jewelry
and custom framing for over
25 years.

I niversi' .
College of Fine Arts, School
of Art, University of Florida
At SW 13th Street and SW 4th
Ave., in Bldg. B

352 392-0201 x229
Open Tues, 10 -8; Wed-Fri,
10-5; Sun, 1-5
Six contemporary exhibitions
a year. In addition, the Focus
Gallery in the lobby of Fine
Arts Building C and Grinter
Gallery in Grinter Hall offer
showings of student and area

Want to watch an artist at
work? Or see his or her stu-
dio? You'll need to call before
visiting. This is by no means a
complete list of accomplished
full-time artists working in
the area. Most are pleased to
show their works.

Porcelain art, pottery, stone-
ware, utilitarian ware
Several public showings a
year are offered. Or call for an

20 W. University Ave.
Upstairs, next to the restau-
By appointment: 352 281-6240
Studio of Allison LeBaron,
Angela Hoppe, Tami Arm-
strong. Florida landscapes,
still life, experimental

How do you classify those
ten 8-foot pillars? Are they
sculptures? Or natural his-
tory? Or just whimsy?
They line NW 8th Av-
enue between NW 34th Street
and NW 22nd Street. Made
of concrete, glass, brick and
stones, they represent the
distance proportionally the
distance between the sun and
the planets on a scale of 4 bil-
lion to 1.

In conclusion
Gainesville is known as
a sophisticated small city. Its
appreciation of art adds to
that reputation. -1

In April, the Alachua County
Board of Commissioners ap-
proved plans that provide new
opportunities and new fund-
ing for countywide cultural
agencies seeking grants.
The Board increased
by $200,000 the amount
available to the Community
Agency Partnership Program
(CAPP), which provides pro-
grams for the underserved.
The increase brings the
CAPP total to $1 million.
The $200,000 is targeted
to provide grants to cultural
groups that offer special pro-
grams and other opportuni-

ties that bring cultural experi-
ences to those who might not
otherwise afford them. These
grants are designed to sup-
port those cultural agencies,
which might not be eligible
for tourism funds, in activities
that aid the community.
The Board also allocated
approximately $457,000, or 28
percent of the total tourism
tax fund, in five areas. These
funds are raised through the
"bed tax," a three-percent tax
on the cost of lodgings paid
for by visitors. They may only
be used with activities be
shown to promote tourism.
The Board changed how

grants from tourism funds
will be made, beginning
with the Oct. 1 fiscal year.
All grants will be given on
the basis of merit through a
competitive process. In the
past, some institutions and
groups were guaranteed a set
"However, we'd like to re-
assure people that we're going
to work hard so that agencies
and community groups who
have received grants in the
past may continue to receive
them under this new com-
petitive process," said Coni
Gesualdi, Cultural Affairs
Manager, City of Gainesville.
Details on how groups may
apply will be available late
this summer.
The $457,000 will be dis-
bursed as follows:
About $41,130 will go to the
City of Gainesville to adminis-
ter the grants program under
a two-year contract with its
Cultural Affairs Division.
This may be extended two
Capital Improve-

ment: A new category, this
includes about $20,793, plus
any unbudgeted revenues or
unexpended encumbrances,
for improvements to facilities
that would enhance tourism.
All cultural agencies may ap-
Contingency Fund:
About $20,793 was set aside
to address the issue of some
agencies not having enough
up-front funding to finance an
event and then wait for reim-
bursement. At present, there
is no fund balance to allow for
early disbursements.
Marketing/New Pro-
grams: About $41,586 is to
be used to create, market and
promote tourist events and
About $332,696 in competi-
tive grants is available to all
cultural agencies, including
the University of Florida and
Santa Fe Community College,
to assist with events.
A Review Committee will
evaluate grant applications. It
will comprise one representa-
tive each from community
arts agencies, heritage agen-
cies, nature-based agencies,
professional arts institutions,
the Tourist Development
Council, the hotel community
and a member-at-large. -1

THEY WORK FOR YOU-Ok, maybe Albert's not a tourism
pro, but Brittany, Kerstin, Nancy, Roland and John are.

9T81 ~ $ s ;~ 2~'Z~B B 1901111I a It111

V e are pleased to announce
the following changes.
* Eric Kidwell, Director of
Sales, Cabot Lodge, added
Susan Diaz, Sales Man-
ager, to the staff.
* Elaine Connolly, Sales
Manager, Gateway Grand,
announced the selection of
Nicole Chesser as Sales
and Marketing Assistant. A
warm welcome to her.
* Holiday Inn Express will
upgrade its bedding collec-

tion at the end of August.
"We are really excited
about it," said Don Mc-
Grath, Director of Sales.
Part of a nationwide effort
by Holiday Inn Express, it
follows other Smart brand
innovation initiatives. The
bedding collection address-
es overall cleanliness and
bed/pillow comfort-two of
the top five product factors
that determine guest satis-
faction. -1

7,500 makes it the record

thanks go all around for
Jehovah Witnesses' success-
ful convention held here this
past Memorial Day weekend.
About 7,500 people came to
Gainesville making it the larg-
est convention held so far in
Alachua County. Two similar
conventions were held last
More than 1,700 hotel
rooms were booked for three
nights. Estimates are they
spent more than $2 million
at grocers, gas stations, re-
tailers and restaurants, plus
nearly $120,000 in sales and
gas-tax revenues.

The Jehovah Witnesses
have booked subsequent
summer conventions through
2008. The potential positive
economic impact to the coun-
ty is about $10 million.
For helping to make the
events a success, the VCB
thanks City and County of-
ficials and the staffs at the
University of Florida and
the O'Connell Center. Also,
thanks go to County Com-
missioners, the County Legal
Department and the Tourist
Development Council for
developing a grant that as-
sisted in negotiations with the
O'Connell Center. 1

I 'iivorsi if F-loridt a e 1ns
For all sports, dates &
times, 375-4683

Hippodrome State Theatre,
Phillips Center for the
Performing Arts, 392-
G'ville Playhouse, 376-4949
Acrosstown Repertory
Theatre, 378-9166
Constans Theatre, UF, 392-

A\rt museums .
Harn Museum of Art, 392-
UF Gallery, 392-0201
Thomas Center Galleries,
Santa Fe Comm. College
Gallery, 395-5621

()Ih r uI s IIumI s/ '
Fl. Museum of Natural
History, 846-2000
Alachua County Historic
Trust, Matheson
Museum, 378-2280
Marjorie K Rawlings
Historic State Park,
Cross Creek, 466-3672
Dudley Farm Historic State
Park, 472-1142
Micanopy Historical Society
Museum, Micanopy,
Hawthorne Historical
Museum & Cultural
Center: 4814491
Kanapaha Botanical
Gardens: 3724981
Morningside Nature Center:

For info, 386 454-3950
For info, 386 454-3950

Listed below are a few of the special events currently scheduled. Please
check with www.VisitGainesville.com, with newspapers or with the
places listed at leftfor more activities.

Every Friday: "Let's Go
Downtown" Plaza Series,
music-all kinds, 8 p.m.,
Gainesville: 334-ARTS
7/3: "Fanfares & Fireworks,"
Independence Day eve
celebration, music,
fireworks, 6 p.m., UF
bandshell: 392-5551 x1106
7/15-16: Global Dance Fest,
Middle Eastern Dance
Workshop, Show, with
dancers from throughout
SW. Indian Cultural Center:
7/15-16: Florida Archery
Assn. Marked 3-D
Champsionships: 338-9300
7/24-31: NORCECA Girls Youth
Volleyball Championships:
7/26-30: 10th annual Marjorie
Kinnan Rawlings Writers
Workshop "Writing the

Region" in fiction & drama;
Thomas Center & Cross
Creek: 1-888-917-7001 or
8/13-14: FAA and Southeast
unmarked 3-D Archery
championships: 338-9300
8/18-19: 17th Annual Hooters
GSOC Golf Classic: 338-
8/25-26: 3rd Annual Firefighter
Combat Challenge
Southeast Regional: 338-
9/4: Labor Day Fireworks,
Newberry Sports Complex
10/6: Homecoming Parade,
Gator Gallop, Gator Growl:
University Ave., Stadium
10/14-15: Butterfly Festival,
Fl. Museum of Natural
History-UF: 846-2000 x277
10/19-22: 6th Annual Gainesville
Senior Games: 338-9300

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