Co-Proprietor, Michael’s On East
Here at Michael’s On East, there are lots of things we do for the busier season. Right now I’m sitting down with my team to analyze the menu. I think people are looking for that little bit of extra value right now. We’re trying some new and exciting things on the food side. Whether it’s a new specialty ingredient for a cocktail or new farm-raised local ingredients for a new dish, we don’t stop creating. We have specialty drinks and some fabulous new wines. Additionally, we have special nights, like lobster nights Fridays and Little Italy nights Mondays. We’ve also been working on staff training to prepare for the busier season. Business has definitely picked up dramatically in the last few weeks and will continue to increase.
We’re stocking Shore with tons of new products, new and different brands that are unique to our store. We also have our own private-label swim line for women that will be out right before Christmas. In addition to the swim line, we are designing polo shirts for both men and women. It’s important to stand out, and we’re really trying to be creative in our products. Overall, we’re stocked with the best materials and excited about what is ahead of us.
Owner, Harrington House Beachfront Bed & Breakfast
We look forward to seeing tourism year-round. Our guests keep coming back year after year and refer their friends and families. We like to keep in contact with them by sending postcards and e-newsletters, which highlight the events that will bring them back to see us and Anna Maria Island. We also have a Facebook account that grows daily and is up to date with Harrington House “Happenings.” We hope that our friendly staff, great location and many accolades will continue to bring guests. We’ve been here for 20 years as a family-run business, and look forward to many more years.
Executive Director, Historic Spanish Point
Historic Spanish Point is gearing up big time for the season. 2010 is the centennial year of the arrival of Mrs. Potter Palmer to Sarasota, and Historic Spanish Point was part of her winter estate. We have three of her historic gardens beautifully preserved and restored, and because there were no serious hurricanes and lots of good rains, the gardens are looking fabulous. We will have an increased number of living history dramas, particularly around Palmer themes. We’ve received a $15,000 grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice for marketing, and we also received a Tourist Development bed tax grant for almost $12,000 for marketing the Heritage Holidays and tourism. We do a lot through the Internet now, and we partner with the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau and Visit Florida. When tourists stop by the CVB or a visitors’ center, they will learn about us. www.historicspanishpoint.org.