The world we have here in Pinellas is a beautiful one. We got to explore it and hear all about its economic impact from the wonderful and fun committee leading the Environment & Tourism Day on December 12. Our committee members worked long and hard putting together a fun-filled, tremendously impactful, and educational day for the class.
It started out with a huge breakfast at Marina Cantina, sponsored by Bay Star Restaurant Group/Marina Cantina. Here we heard from the energetic and delightful Lisa Chandler and her awesome sidekick Allie Chandler, as they shared about the vision behind the Sugar Sand Festival and Pier 60. Then we heard from Frank Dame of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium about its huge economic impact to the entire area, including the dollar amounts it drives into tourism each year with Hope and the other amazing dolphins.
Next, we journeyed to and toured the Sandpearl Resort. We learned about how “going green” can be both economically viable and sexy! We tried to sneak in and stay at the spa, but it did not happen.
Did you know that we have a large Taoist Tai Chi International center right here in our backyard? We definitely got our Zen on. We had a really peaceful time and got some hands-on training by master Sean Dennison, Taoist Tai Chi and were inspired by Mayor Julie Bujalski ‘09, City of Dunedin, Commissioners: Heather Gracy ‘14, Deborah Kynes ‘89, and Maureen Freaney ’03.
We were privileged to visit the newly renovated Fenway Hotel. What a treat it was to see it and hear the story of its transformation to magnificent glory. The view from the rooftop was priceless.
After getting a fill of the view, we went to House of Beer Brewing Company in Dunedin where we met the owner. We heard all about the business of brewing and how much it is helping Dunedin and environs. We took a tour of the brewery and heard about the restaurant they have, as well. Our next stop of the day was Honeymoon Island. What a treat! We got a detailed tour of the park, including a ferry ride to Caladesi Island.
Jack Willies was the ideal spot for lunch, which was sponsored by Eric Seidel. Here we heard from Eric Seidel ‘18, Oldsmar City Counselor and Joe DeRing ‘17 of Empower Adventures Tampa Bay.
The day ended with a bang as we zip-lined at Empower Adventures and watched some superstars at the BMX track in Oldsmar.
A huge thank you to the amazing committee members Wendy Barmore ‘16, Debb Pauley ‘16, Suzy Sakal ’08, Rosemary Windsor ’16, Monica Peremba ’18, Sally Evans ’15, Bruce Rector ’17, and Allie Chandler ’18 who all worked arduously to make this great day