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SRQ DAILY Sep 20, 2021

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition

"Leisure does seem to be carrying the industry for now."

- Virginia Haley, Visit Sarasota County

-Uber Home Theaters, as seen in September's issue of TRENDSPORT
[Tourism]  Business Travel Slumps, But Leisure Lifts Sarasota
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The hospitality industry in Florida expects to take a major hit in a loss of business travel thanks to a surge in coronavirus cases here. But at least in Sarasota, that loss is more than offset by a rise in recreational visitors.

“Sarasota is a little different than many areas of the state because it has always been dominated by leisure travel,” said Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota.

That’s good right now considering the enduring impact of COVID-19 on business trips and conventions. A new survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association found the hospitality industry nationwide will take a $30.1-billion hit in 2021 from a loss in business travel compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Florida will suffer a $5.3-billion loss in that travel sector this calendar year.

“While leisure travel returned this year – in some regions higher than even 2019’s record figures – business travel still remains down overall, and Florida is projected to end 2021 with the second highest losses in the nation, behind only the state of California,” said Carol Dover, president and CEO of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

One of those areas doing well is Sarasota County. Already this fiscal year, which ends in October, the county has collected $27.6 million in tourist development taxes. That’s a record amount. In all of the 2019 fiscal year, the county collected under $23.4 million. In fiscal year 2020, when COVID-19 hit the state halfway through and largely shut the travel industry down, just under $21.1 million was collected.

Reopening travel options domestically helped the industry bounce back, but Haley said all realize the boom in domestic travel is not sustainable, and there remain major holes in the hospitality economy. Business and group travel to the region indeed has affected hotels, which rely on that predictable traffic particularly to fill rooms on weeknights.

While a surge in coronavirus infections in Florida as delta variant cases spike has not diminished leisure travel, Haley said, it has stopped any return in business retreats and convention bookings.

Additionally, international travel remains locked down. Sarasota historically has enjoyed steady visitation from overseas with Canada as a No. 1 international market, followed by the United Kingdom. But visitation from both those nations remains completely closed off. Overseas visitors typically stay for longer periods of time in Florida hotels and spend more each day while here.

“Leisure does seem to be carrying the industry for now,” Haley said. “My hope is that the borders would open, especially Canada and the U.K., so that as leisure starts to level off, we’d have that start to pick up.”


Photo courtesy Westin

[SRQ Thrifting Series]  Heading to the Attic Isn't So Bad
Grace Castilow, grace@srqme.com

As the fourth of a new weekly four-part series, we continue to roll out local thrifting destinations for those frugal shoppers to get their fair share of gently-used, recycled bargains.

World’s Attic Thrift Shop is as dedicated to helping people find quality pieces at affordable prices as they are to benefitting local, national and international causes through the Mennonite Central Committee. Sharon Appel, who has managed the nonprofit for four years, shares that the joy of World’s Attic lies in their philanthropic mission and appeal to varying walks of life. “We appeal to those who need to buy secondhand and those who thrift as a hobby or with friends for fun,” says Appel. As people work and play from home, desks and comfort items like recliners are hot commodities. Someone can come in for an afternoon adventure and leave ready to outfit a college dorm, new apartment or longstanding home. “General household goods like glassware, dishware and picnicware are always a hit,” she says. “We have the perfect vintage version of anything you need. That crockpot lid that broke, we have it.”

The miscellaneous nature of their stock is what makes shopping at World’s Attic special. Go in with an open mind and expect the unexpected. You’ll always be surprised by what you find. After all, one man’s donation is another man’s dream. 

Photo taken by Wyatt Kostygan

World's Attic Thrift Shop, 700 N Beneva Rd., Sarasota, 941-330-0065, worldsattic.org

[Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center]  There's Never Been A More Important Time to Quit Tobacco

Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center, as part of the Tobacco Free Florida AHEC Cessation Program, offers free tobacco cessation sessions to help individuals quit all forms of tobacco.  These group sessions—held virtually and in-person—will assist you with developing your own customized quit plan. Free nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches, gum or lozenges (if medically appropriate and while supplies last) and follow up support from a trained tobacco treatment specialist are provided with the session. 

Contact us today at 866-534-7909 or visit our pageto schedule a class or learn more about the program! 

Visit our page link: www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/groupquitcalendar 

Click Here for More Information

[Sunshine From Darkness]  Striking Out the Stigma of Mental Illness

Sunshine from Darkness, a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to the funding of mental health research and local mental health services and programs, is proud to present its 2021 Inspiring Hope Dinner and Journey to Wellness Symposium events on November 12 and 13. 

The Inspiring Hope Dinner, themed “Striking Out the Stigma of Mental Illness,” will recognize and feature legendary professional baseball star Darryl Strawberry and Steve Ford, actor and son of former President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit First Step of Sarasota and The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. The event takes place Friday, November 12, 6:30 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota (1111 Ritz-Carlton Dr.). 

Darryl Strawberry played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball with the New York Mets and New York Yankees. Strawberry’s story of childhood abuse, anxiety, drug and alcohol addiction and, ultimately, his recovery, has inspired audiences across the nation. Steve Ford has 25 years of sobriety, recovering from a dual diagnosis of both addiction and depression. He has spoken to hundreds of groups with a transparent but hopeful message of recovery.

The Journey to Wellness Symposium will focus on new treatments, discoveries, and insights on pressing mental health issues, including the impact of COVID-19 on young people. The symposium takes place from 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Sarasota Hyatt Regency (1000 Boulevard of the Arts) on November 13. Free and open to the public. 

For more information, tickets, and sponsorships, visit sunshinefromdarkness.org

Click Here for More Information

[Environment]  Nurture Nature, During 'Take a Child Outside Week'

In celebration of the September 24-30 “Take a Child Outside Week,” Sarasota County is offering an array of free events to help children—and adults—explore and connect with nature. From a nature hike through a bayfront park to a radio show discussing the benefits of and opportunities for outdoor activities, the events focus on getting more outdoor time to highlight and expand our links to the natural world. “Recent studies show that time in nature builds confidence, promotes creativity and imagination, teaches responsibility, provides stimulation, gets kids moving, inspires thinking, and reduces stress and fatigue,” said Dr. Katherine Clements, ecology and natural resources educator with UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County. “Best of all, it's just plain fun.”

Sarasota County Extension partnered with the County’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources and Libraries departments, the University of South Florida, and The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast on a lineup of local events for “Take a Child Outside Week,” including — Discovery Walk at Lemon Bay Park (Sept. 25): A family-fun discovery walk to learn about plants and animals in this Englewood park; Owls, Adaptations, and Pellets! (Sept. 28): Families can visit Bay Preserve in Osprey to learn about owls and the adaptations that make them great predators; Finding Peace in Difficult Times (Sept. 29): A virtual event to explore the healing power of mindfulness in nature; Master Gardener Volunteer Radio Show (Oct. 02): Sarasota County Extension’s Dr. Katherine Clements and Mindy Hanak discuss the benefits of getting children out in nature, and where to do that locally; “Explore Your World” backpack/kit: Designed by UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County in partnership with Sarasota County Libraries, this kit packs the tools and resources to help explorers of all ages get outside and explore.

Learn more about the benefits of connecting with nature and local opportunities at blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasotaco/2019/09/24/the-necessity-of-nature/. And, find more Extension events at ufsarasotaext.eventbrite.com.


Photo courtesy of UFL

[Webinar]  Women's Resource Center Presents: 'Women in Law Enforcement: Careers in a Fast-Growing Industry'

Gender inequality is still a defining aspect of law enforcement. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reporting, women make up just under 13% of our nation’s law enforcement. But recent studies and public opinion polls show that one way to achieve equitable form of law enforcement is to encourage agencies to hire more women. According to Lori Gentile, director of client services at the Women’s Resource Center, many lucrative opportunities in the law enforcement field exist for women in the Sarasota-Manatee region.

She invites the public to attend WRC’s “Women in Law Enforcement: Careers in a Fast-Growing Industry,” a free webinar, September 29, noon-1 pm. Speakers include Chief Melanie Bevan from the Bradenton Police Department and Lt. John Murrell from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. Participants can attend by phone or computer and will be able to ask questions via a chatbox. If community members cannot join live, the recorded version is available on the Women's Resource Center Youtube Channel.

Those interested can register at mywrc.org/lawenforcement or call 941-256-9721 for more information. The webinar is part of WRC's Career Connections program that links women to quality jobs and funded training programs.  

Pictured: Lori Gentile, director of client services at the Women's Resource Center

[People]  Sonya Kristie, Caldwell Trust Company Vice President and Trust Officer, Earns Juris Master Degree

Sonya Kristie, vice president, trust officer and Sarasota office manager with Caldwell Trust Company, received her Juris Master, a legal degree, at Florida State University’s graduation ceremonies in Tallahassee. This degree is the most recent in a growing list of accomplishments for the Venice native and Sarasota resident. In addition to the Juris Master program, Kristie has also completed the FBA’s Florida Graduate Trust School programs; studies in fiduciary income tax, basics of probate practice and special needs trusts; and Engage Sarasota and Leadership Sarasota County, programs sponsored by the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.

To contact Sonya Kristie, email sonya@ctrust.com or call 941.926.9336. To learn more about Caldwell Trust Company, call 941.493.3600, visit ctrust.com, or email info@ctrust.com 

All-Empowered Women Self Defense Classes, featured in this month's TRENDSPORT

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: FST Improv: Comedy Lottery , September 11 – September 25, 7:30pm

It’s the lottery where everyone wins! Twelve lucky audience members determine the fate of our team of highly-adaptable improvisers by selecting the night’s lineup from FST’s bucket of over 50 different improv games. Once the night’s games are chosen, our cast of funny people will be off to the races, spinning scenes, sketches, and songs to win your laughter. What will they come up with next? We have absolutely no idea. But one thing is for sure: every Saturday night at 7:30pm through September 25, their destiny is in your hands.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Skyway 2020: A Contemporary Collaboration , June 20 – October 3, 10am-5pm

The Skyway 2020 exhibition, now in its second iteration, is a celebration of artistic practices in the Tampa Bay region, as it is a collaboration between four institutions: the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; the Tampa Museum of Art; and the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa. Working together, curators from each institution will offer context for the diversity of art being made in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties. Artworks and projects in the exhibition will be selected by museum curators and the guest juror, Claire Tancons, an independent curator and scholar whose practice takes a global focus on the conditions of cultural production. Tancons has curated biennials around the world, including Prospect.1, New Orleans; the 2008 Gwangju Biennial; and the 2019 Sharjah Biennial. This exhibit will begin on June 20, 2021 and will end on October 3, 2021. Runs from 10am to 5pm.

The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: The Infiltrators , September 24, 6:30pm

Without warning, Claudio Rojas is detained by ICE officials outside his Florida home. He is transferred to the Broward Transitional Center, a detention facility used as a holding space for imminent deportations. Terrified of never seeing him again, Claudio’s family contacts the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA), a group of activist Dreamers known for stopping deportations. Believing that no one is free as long as one is in detention, NIYA enlists Marco Saavedra to self-deport with the hopes of gaining access to the detention center and impeding Claudio’s expulsion. Once inside, Marco discovers a complex for-profit institution housing hundreds of multinational immigrants, all imprisoned without trial. This On Screen will show on September 24 at 6:30pm at Historic Asolo Theater.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Let's Get Healthy Tampa Bay Wellness Expos , September 18 – September 26, 10am-2pm, 11am-3pm, 10am-2pm, 12pm-4pm

Let’s Get Healthy Tampa Bay Wellness Expos, Florida Penguin Production’s annual wellness expo series, is returning to 4 locations this September. (Brandon, Sarasota, Clearwater & Citrus Park) Each “Let’s Get Healthy Wellness Expo” will feature 30-40 wellness related resources & activations catered to patrons of all ages. From Geriatrics to Pediatrics, and holistic to modern, we have it all in one place for Tampa Bay to learn more about all the options available to them. Activities include fitness demos, free health checks, healthy food & drink samples, product sampling stations, a Teddy Bear Giveaway sponsored by Florida Blue, and dozens of vendors on display including many of the top Health Insurance brands, chiropractors, mental health, government services, primary care, fitness, and healthy food and drinks. Sponsored by Florida Blue, Liberty Dental Plans, Life Guard Imaging, and Your CBD Store. September 18th (10am-2pm) at The Mall at University Town Center - 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, September 19th (11am-3pm) at Westfield Brandon Mall - 459 Brandon Town Center Dr, Brandon, September 25th (10am-2pm) at Countryside Mall - 27001 US Hwy 19 N, Clearwater, and September 26th (12pm-4pm) at Citrus Park Mall - Center, 8021 Citrus Park Town, Tampa.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Arts A Blaze Studio: Saturday Morning Pottery and Donuts , September 11 – October 30, 10am

Bring your Coffee, Tea or Hot Cider and join Arts A Blaze Studio at 8111 Lakewood Main St. #107, Bradenton on Saturday Mornings throughout September and October at 10am. Free Donuts for every Painting Customer while they last.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Virtual: Children's Cancer Center: 9th Annual Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede , September 1 – September 30

This year marks the 9th annual Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede benefitting the Children’s Cancer Center. The event is held every September, Childhood Cancer Awareness month. We challenge you to virtually walk or run with your herd for the Children’s Cancer Center. Run/Walk: We challenge you to set a mileage goal to complete by the end of September. All participants will be entered in a chance drawing where 30 people will win FREE Chick-fil-A for a MONTH; 1 Mile, 5 Miles, 10 Miles, 25 Miles, 50 Miles, and 100 Miles. Raise: Create a fundraising page and raise funds throughout the challenge for the immediate needs of children battling pediatric cancer. The top 10 fundraisers will receive FREE Chick-fil-A for a MONTH. Packet Pickup: Drive by our COVID-19 compliant Packet Pick Up Party on Monday, August 31 from 8am to 10am or 6pm to 8pm where all participants will receive a t-shirt, swag bag and a Chick-fil-A sandwich. Tampa: Children’s Cancer Center (4901 W. Cypress St. Tampa) or Sarasota: Fruitville Chick-fil-A (5384 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota). Free Chick-fil-A for a Month consists of 30 promotional cards redeemable for a free Chick-fil-A entrée (Chick-fil-A Sandwich, Original or Spicy, Chick- fil-A Nuggets, Original or Grilled (8-count) or a Grilled Chicken Sandwich). Valid during lunch and dinner hours only.

[SOON]  GALLERY: New Color Perspectives Gallery , August 28 – September 24

The five newest artists at Art Uptown Gallery will be featured in the September exhibit, New Color Perspectives, showcasing their paintings, drawings and jewelry art. Diane Boone, jewelry artist; Peter Garon, Judy Gilmer, and Hunter Jay, painters; and Arlene Steinberg, colored pencil artist, are all local, full-time residents of national and international recognition. Meet the artists on September 3 from 6 pm to 9 pm at the First Friday public reception with refreshments at the gallery. The exhibit opens on Saturday, August 28 and runs through Friday, September 25. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street where the diverse art works of 28 local artists are shown, Tuesday-Friday 11 am-5 pm (except First Friday when open until 9 pm), and Saturday 10 am-3 pm. www.artuptown.com. Telephone 941-955-5409 for further information

Art Uptown Gallery, 1367 Main St., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: We Dream A World: African American Landscape Painters of Mid-Century Florida, The Highwaymen , July 10 – September 26

We Dream A World, African American Landscape Painters of Mid-Century Florida, The Highwaymen, explores the depth of art and business enterprise created by a unique set of landscape artists. Guest Curator Radiah Harper takes visitors through the experience of African Americans who, living in a hostile climate of racial injustice, were able to both learn their artistic craft through formal and informal education, and successfully break away from traditional field labor jobs to monetize their work. This exhibition will be presented in collaboration with the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition from July 10 to September 26.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , 1534 Mound St., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Shout Glory! A Gospel Revival featuring The Stephen Lynerd Group , September 25 – September 26

The season kicks off September 25 and 26 with Shout Glory! A Gospel Revival. Together again after 19 months of virtual concerts and online events, Key Chorale is back to celebrate togetherness through the powerful legacy of African American spirituals and Gospel music in a feel-good concert experience sure to set your toes tapping, your hands clapping, and your spirit soaring. Joined by the energetic pulse of The Stephen Lynerd Group and the soulful sounds of the Hammond B-3 organ, this opening concert is full of upbeat, joyful music sure to raise the roof.

Key Chorale , 2075 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: FST Improv: Out of Bounds , October 2 – November 27, 8pm and 7:30pm

FST Improv Presents Out of Bounds Playing Every Saturday Beginning October 2 at 7:30pm. Out of Bounds is the heart of the FST Improv Winter Season. Eight teams comprised of our top improvisers will be competing for your attention, love, and points! The show is a fast-paced, no holds barred improv show featuring five of the best improv comedians of the Suncoast for a night of games, scenes, and skillful storytelling. No rules. No boundaries. Just spectacular comedy and incredible improvisation.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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