Google+

Changes Made At St. Johns County Visitors and Convention Bureau

A number of recent changes made at the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau (VCB) will make the organization more responsive to industry needs during a difficult period for tourism.

“We felt that the current downturn in tourism spending in St. Johns County warranted actions that would help the VCB focus more effort on meeting some of the immediate problems confronting the local tourism industry,” said Charles Cox, vice president of the San Sebastian Winery and chairman of the board of the VCB.

For more than ten years, the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau has been responsible for conducting an effective marketing campaign designed to bring visitors to St. Johns County. The nine-person staff is composed of specialists in marketing, communications, sales, and graphic design. They are not county employees. Instead, they work on an annual contract that is funded entirely with Tourist Development Tax revenues – the “bed tax” paid by overnight visitors to the county. The VCB is a partnership with the tourism industry. To be a VCB “partner,” nearly 250 tourism-related businesses in St. Johns County pay an annual fee of $100.

As a first step in reorganizing the VCB, its Board of Directors was reduced in size from 17 to nine members – a step that was approved in a vote by VCB partners and confirmed by both the Tourist Development Council and the Board of County Commissioners. The new board consists of:

Charles Cox, Chairman (San Sebastian Winery)
John Fraser, Vice Chairman (Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth)
Mark Schwantner, Secretary (Renaissance Resorts at World Golf Village)
Bob O’Neill, Treasurer (Hilton Historic on the Bayfront)
Irving Kass, Past Chairman (St. George Inn)
Kathy Fleming (St. Augustine Lighthouse)
David Mariotti (The Lodge & Club at Ponte Vedra)
Tina Puckett (Holiday Inn, St. Augustine Beach)
Virginia Whetstone (Whetstone’s Chocolates)

The Board also has three non-voting members representing the mayors of St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach, and the Board of County Commissioners.

An extensive search for a well-qualified VCB executive director is now underway. Until that position is filled, Board Chairman Charles Cox will supervise the VCB on a voluntary basis. The goal is to have the executive director position filled by the end of the year.

Among other changes, a new contract between the county and the VCB is being developed and will be in place within the next 60 days. Also, the VCB staff will soon move from the County Administration Building to a new location. Several options for the VCB offices are under consideration.

Entertainment

For movies opening September 30, 2016

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening September 30, 2016 BIG BUDGET FILMS   Deepwater Horizon (PG-13 for intense action sequences, disturbing images and brief profanity) Disaster flick recreating the real-life events surrounding the 2010 explosion of the offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico which claimed the lives of 11 crewmen and led to the worst … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights

  Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights By Brad Fenson As an avid bowhunter, I’m always looking for a sight to not only help me acquire a target accurately and quickly but provide adjustability while being lightweight. It might be a lot to ask for but with a wide array of hunting situations, you have to be selective in your equipment to ensure you are always successful in the long run. The Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE™ XS was … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

There Are Superheroes Among Us

  There Are Superheroes Among Us by Amy Lignor   This story truly proves that a superhero does not require a cape, tights, or the ability to fly. In a world where all headlines seem to be centered around who shot who, who is being put upon, who’s “getting away with it” – all the way to who is getting divorced and who may or may not be kneeling at NFL games – negative stories seem to be the only ones covered anymore by the media. … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two New York, NY (August 10, 2016) — Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two script book, the eighth Harry Potter story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, published in the U.S. and Canada by Scholastic has sold more than 3.3 million copies in North America to date.Scholastic announced a first printing … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky”

  Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky” by Amy Lignor   Myths and legends, both spooky and surreal, are becoming the subject of many books and newspaper articles lately. And the location of many, oddly enough, happen to be in the Southwest. It used to be that a nice white sandy beach was the one place we yearned to go on vacation to get away from it all. Now, however, people are searching for places to travel where legends still exist, and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Controlling a Species: Humans Being Humane

  Controlling a Species: Humans Being Humane by Amy Lignor   Humane. There is a reason why this word and human are basically spelled the same. What needs to happen, however, is for them to mean the same. There are societies out there that talk about just that. From clubs to groups to volunteer organizations that protect all varieties of our animal friends, “humane” is one act that they wish would be considered in any and all … [Read More its Good for You...]