Tag Archives: lido


Bet You Didn’t Know THIS About the Famous St. Armands Circle

Posted on BLVD’s website on June 6th

Set amidst a tropical paradise, St. Armands is an enchanting circle of fine shops and gourmet restaurants. Renowned as a market place with a continental flavor, it is a charming and graceful synthesis of past and present.

Lush tropical plantings, and contemporary architectural design skillfully contribute to an international atmosphere of friendly warmth and timeless style. Relax in the restaurants, explore the shops – from trinkets to treasures, gourmet snacks to candlelight feasts, you’ll find it all on St. Armand’s Circle.

However, becoming the thriving cultural destination it is today did not come without struggle. Here are a few little known facts about the history of St. Armand’s Circle:

In 1893, Charles St. Amand, A Frenchman and first resident of the island, purchased for $21.71 three tracts of land totaling 131.89 acres. In later land deeds, his name was misspelled “St. Armand” and this spelling has persisted to the present day.

Visionary circus magnate John Ringling purchased the St. Armands Key property in 1917 and planned a development which included residential lots and a shopping center laid out in a circle. As no bridge to the key had yet been built, Ringling engaged an old paddle-wheel steamboat, the “Success,” to service as a work boat. Circus elephants were used to haul the huge timbers from which the bridge and causeway were built.

One year later, amid much pomp and ceremony, both the John Ringling Causeway and Ringling Estates development opened to the public, with John Ringling himself leading a parade across the causeway and his Circus Band playing from a bandstand in the center of the Circle.

As the nationwide depression worsened, land sales in Florida and on St. Armands stopped completely. In 1928, the City of Sarasota accepted the causeway as a gift, which Ringling himself could no longer afford to maintain. Gradually, the wooden causeway began to rot, the Circle bandstand sagged, and the native vegetation covered the carefully planned streets and sidewalks.

During the 1940’s, several courageous investors opened restaurants and a service station on the Circle but not until 1953 did business once again resume on St. Armands. By 1955 a number of stores had opened.

Today, more than 130 stores on St. Armands Circle pamper customers from all areas of the United States and many foreign countries.

The St. Armands Circle experience is indeed a memorable one. Explore and enjoy a day of European style shopping with a gourmet lunch in a cozy cafe. Those who admire St. Armands sophisticated style and luxury will also notice that there is a new addition to that tradition of Sarasota excellence. Just a short drive from St. Armands Circle, in the heart of the Rosemary District, is BLVD Sarasota, downtown’s newest and most impressive address.

Here are a couple of businesses located on St. Armands Circle;

Tropical Shores Popcorn

Crazy Shirts

Settimi’s Gelato


Sarasota-Manatee Tourism: From Europe, with love


British transplant Mark Toomey owns Robin Hood Rentals on Siesta Key.


By Dale White
Year after year, the Sarasota-Manatee region has been shattering its own records for attracting European tourists and 2015 appears to be no exception.

From 2010 through 2014, the numbers of Europeans patronizing area lodgings, restaurants and attractions from Anna Maria Island to Venice climbed by more than 50 percent – from more than 125,350 to more than 188,500. Reports from the first quarter of this year already show that foreign visitor count up 7.3 percent compared with the same three-month period of 2014. And the bulk of European visitors expected for this year are still two or more months away from making landfall.

Those year-over-year increases do not come by chance. Visit Sarasota County and the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau credit a strategy that promotes this area as a destination for travelers from the United Kingdom and central European countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland. That strategy calls for targeted advertising and making connections with travel agencies most Europeans rely on. The strategy continues to work, even when the exchange rate is not in the dollar’s favor.

CLICK HERE <—– For complete article

Has traffic affected tourism in Sarasota County?

Has traffic affected tourism in Sarasota County?

NYC pic by J. Parisi (C)

Congestion pic by J. Parisi (C)

by: Alex Mahadevan Digital Editor via yourobserver.com

Traffic woes again surfaced during a local government meeting Tuesday, with Sarasota County officials downplaying the effect it has on the local tourism industry.

“Do we have traffic problems? Yes. Do we need to continue to work on it? Yes,” said Commissioner Christine Robinson. “But, the comments that tourists are beginning to shy away from Sarasota simply aren’t true.”

Robinson said she looks forward to working on traffic problems, but said the “rumor mill” she’s heard at community and government meetings about gridlock crippling regional tourism weren’t true. And that amplifying those comments could actually hurt the tourism sector in the long run.

“We have had occasional complaints, but they have had more to do with parking ticket issues,” said Visit Sarasota County President Virginia Haley, who was presenting the Tourist Development Council’s annual report.

According to visitor profiles complied by the Visit Sarasota County for the first quarter of this year, 97% of tourists polled were satisfied with their trips and 93% of respondents said they would return to the region again. While Haley expected to get dinged this year due to traffic, those numbers did not fall compared with the same timeframe in 2014.

Gridlock doesn’t have a profound affect on visitors because they aren’t in a hurry to get to work or drop their kids off at school, Haley said. And when traffic backs up on the Ringling Bridge or through St. Armands Circle, the views of Sarasota Bay and surrounding areas are pleasant sights.

“It’s not a terrible experience,” Haley said.

But, Haley said it will be important to explore new ways of moving tourists throughout the county, citing ideas for more trolleys or water taxis as potential transportation options.

For complete article, CLICK HERE <—–

Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Lender, Unicorp face sanctions

Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Lender, Unicorp face sanctions

this way to desolation beeach shot Building rot

by: Kurt Schultheis via Yourobserver.com

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May has dealt a blow to Orlando-based Unicorp National Development Inc. in its quest to redevelop the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort.

May revealed Tuesday in his Tampa courtroom that he plans to file an order against Colony Lender LLC and Orlando-based Unicorp National Development Inc. for a list of sanctions.

After he finalizes and enters his order, Colony Lender will have 14 days to dismiss lawsuits it filed in state court against all Colony unit owners. Colony Lender and Unicorp sought more than $5 million in damages for unpaid rent plus interest on a disputed recreational facilities lease. May ruled last month that those letters violated an automatic bankruptcy stay.

“There will be no further steps to collect,” May said.

May also is requiring Colony Lender LLC principals David Siegal and Randy Langley, along with Unicorp President Chuck Whittall, to write a letter to every unit owner on official company letterhead that includes their names, stating that the claims against them are being dismissed.

And five unit owners who sold their units to Unicorp last year for $20,000 each after receiving demand letters in August stating they could face millions of dollars in liabilities if they did not sell their units to Unicorp, will have  a 30-day period to get their units back. 

Liens Colony Lender and Unicorp placed on units for rent will be removed as part of the pending order.

For the complete story, CLICK HERE <——

Stained… The beat goes on with The Colony on Longboat Key

Stained… The beat goes on with The Colony on Longboat Key

Colony Lender files foreclosure suit against owners

by: Robin Hartill via The Observer.com

Colony Lender LLC filed a lawsuit against Colony Beach & Tennis Resort unit owners Friday, seeking to foreclose on units at the shuttered Colony Beach & Tennis Resort. In the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court’s Tampa Division, Colony Lender states it is owed more than $5.1 million in damages. Although it filed a notice of voluntary dismissal Tuesday, Colony Lender will refile the identical complaint in state court due to jurisdictional issues, according to Colony Lender principal David Siegal.

The suit seeks $4,594,276.40 for accrued unpaid rent plus interest on a disputed recreational facilities lease for the period of Oct. 29, 2008 through Aug. 15, 2014, plus $525,244.82 in unpaid real estate taxes plus interest and attorney fees.

When the Colony was operational, unit owners paid $650,000 annually for use of the tennis courts and other recreational properties at the property to longtime owner Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber and other leaseholders.

Colony Lender argues that it owns both a 95% interest in the land and the lease, a claim that the Colony Beach & Tennis Association denies, arguing that Colony Lender owns only real property at the resort. The association also argues that the Florida Legislature outlawed agreements such as the recreational facilities lease in 1975.

The suit lists 174 defendants, representing all owners of the 237 units at the shuttered resort — except for Siegal, who owns two units.

Approximately nine owners agreed to sell their units to Orlando-based Unicorp National Development Inc., which has an agreement to purchase Colony Lender’s resort assets. Those owners will be dropped from the suit, according to Siegal.

“I would expect there will be a number of defense lawyers talking to us, and I would expect … being able to reach resolution with some and not with others,” he said.

For the full article, CLICK HERE <—-=====

Hidden Gems – Party at The Cove

Hidden Gems – Party at The Cove


The Cove, Sarasota, FL

The Cove, Sarasota, FL

by Rachel S. O’Hara – Ticket Sarasota

During the summer, those with boats like to take their friends and family to places a little less chaotic than the public beach. Places like The Cove. People have taken advantage of this secret oasis for decades, getting to the destination by boat, paddleboard, kayak or by simply swimming out the short distance to where The Cove becomes a very enticing sandbar. People spend hours swimming, floating on inflatable rafts or just bobbing around in the cool water.

Many come to The Cove prepared with food and drinks, and some people even barbecue on the back of their boats. Jell-O shots and mixed drinks are consumed by groups of adults while parents with children sip on juice boxes and look for sea urchins and other creatures that crawl along the bottom. During special weekends like Tubapalooza – an annual tradition for the last five years, the Fourth of July, the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix and Labor Day weekend, the festivities grow, with more boats, people and louder music blaring. It’s a party.


Second house razed for Tampa Bay Lightning & Channelside owner, Jeff Vinik’s new estate

Second house razed for Tampa Bay Lightning & Channelside owner, Jeff Vinik’s new estate

Ringling Bridge Sunset in Sarasota, FL - Heading out towards St. Armands

Ringling Bridge Sunset in Sarasota, FL – Heading out towards St. Armands

by Harold Bubil , Herald-Tribune

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and his wife — fresh off a victory in acquiring the Channelside property in Tampa — have taken the first significant steps to develop a grand residence on St. Armands Key that could have dramatic views of downtown Sarasota.

To that end, demolition has begun on a 64-year-old house at 132 N. Washington Drive that the Viniks bought in May for $3.5 million.

That deal followed the 2013 acquisition by Vinik and his wife, Penny, of a 12-year-old house next door, at 112 N. Washington Drive. The couple paid $4.25 million for it before tearing it down.

Taken together, the two houses measured 9,200 square feet.

The Viniks plan to replace those residences with one that will cost $3.6 million to build, according to a City of Sarasota building permit.

To view a unique property for sale on Golden Gate Point in sarasota, CLICK HERE <—-=====

For complete article and others by Mr. Bubil, CLICK HERE <—–======

Luxury Meets Athleticism: 5 years strong

Luxury Meets Athleticism: 5 years strong

The antidote to procrastination

The antidote to procrastination

Story via SarasotaDay.Com

The GNC Longboat Key Triathlon and Duathalon celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, and the well-respected sporting event remains high on the bucket list for those who enjoy pushing their bodies to the limit.

Forming a global nation, the triathletes who travel to Sarasota to take part in the annual endurance test will be once again be looking forward to a combination of luxury and limb-busting sporting bonhomie that can take the most fleet of foot up to 90 minutes to complete.

As with all triathlons, the ability to overcome the inevitable long-distance swimming, cycling and running endurance tests is paramount.

“It’s extremely competitive,” said Tony Driscoll, CEO of TDA Global Sports, the promoter for the event.

“But this is, for a triathlon, a very luxurious setting,” continued Driscoll. “It’s second to none. The athletes are treated to a luxurious reward for their commitment.”

And Driscoll insists Sarasota can go the extra mile in the face of competition.

“Many of the athlete’s want to test themselves in Sarasota simply because this triathlon takes care of all the participants’ needs after the race is over. Why? Because most athletes will have experienced the usual attitude of ‘Hey, well done for finishing. Here’s a bottle of water and a banana.’

“This event is far from that business model,” Driscoll said.

“This triathlon is an upscale event that attracts athletes who want to compete,” Driscoll continued. “But they also want their sense of achievement recognized.

“I don’t care if they’re professional or amateur athletes. I’ll make sure they are rewarded for their efforts.”

For more information or to preregister, visit lbktriathlon.com

For more Sarasota Happenings, CLICK HERE <—-======

Sarasota County uses website to keep public informed during Siesta Beach Improvement Project

Sarasota County uses website to keep public informed during Siesta Beach Improvement Project

Siesta Key Beach by Sean Dreznin

Siesta Key Beach by Sean Dreznin

by Todd Dunn

SARASOTA, FLA. – People come to Sarasota County from all over the country and the world just to visit Siesta Beach.
“I am over from Manchester, England,” said Robert Ironmonger, adding, “my wife did a little bit of research, looked for the best beaches, looked for the best resorts and picked Sarasota.”

Last month, Sarasota County started work on a two year Siesta Beach Improvement Project.
“This project is so unique, so big, so integral to our community and tourism,” said Carolyn Brown, Director of Parks and Recreation.

In an effort to keep residents and visitors informed during to $21.5 million project, the county created http://www.siestabeachinfo.com

For complete article, CLICK HERE <—-===

Updated Colony Tennis & Beach Resort on Longboat Key photos

Updated Colony Tennis & Beach Resort on Longboat Key photos

Colony pictures

Colony pictures

beeach shot

building boarded up

Building rot

colony limo parking

employee of the month

flower shop

guards booth

hope blooms

hotel warnings

hotel yellow tape

I am legend

sewer growth

tennis anyone

tennis arch

this way to desolation

vacant office

vacant restaurant

where golf carts go to die

wrong way