Morikami to Close for the Storm
(PRESS RELEASE)_In preparation for Hurricane Isaias and for the safety of its guests, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens will close on Saturday, August 1 and will reopen after the storm has safely passed. Please visit Morikami's website and social media assets (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) for reopening announcements. Thank you and stay safe.Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is located at 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach. For more information, call (561) 495-0233 or visit morikami.org.
South Florida Tech Expands
(PRESS RELEASE)_West Palm Beach, FL – What started five years ago as an initiative to build a tech hub in The Palm Beaches, has now – officially - become the driving force behind “all things tech” in the Tri-County region. With support from major companies to startups, the newly unveiled ‘South Florida Tech’ (#BuildingSoFlo) has experienced major growth and recognition in 2020, both geographically and by the ever-growing list of companies they mentor and support.
“We are thrilled to have companies like Modernizing Medicine, Ultimate Software, and REEF Technology based in South Florida,” said Joe Russo, President and CEO. “But we’re thinking about the entire ecosystem; companies from startups to mammoths to work together to create a domination of technology success stories from Palm Beach to Miami. If we’re on the international radar, who knows what kinds of forward-thinking technology founders will notice and consider making South Florida their home?”
Russo was recently appointed to the prestigious Technology Councils of North America, and also serves on advisory boards or committees for Synapse; Business Development Board of Palm Beach County; School District of Palm Beach County; Palm Beach State College; and Florida Atlantic University.
“We will work relentlessly to unite and build our South Florida Tech Community,” said Russo.
South Florida Tech has assembled a highly dedicated team and an impressive A-list of active Board Members from Palm Beach to Miami. This includes new Board Members like Ultimate Software CTO John Machado, Wyncode Academy Co-Founder Johanna Mikkola, City Furniture President Andrew Koening, and Carrier CISO Nicole Darden Ford.
“I’m especially excited to have the insights of Pete Martinez, the former head of IBM South Florida, and Scott Adams, the co-founder of our region’s first tech initiative named Internet Coast,” said Russo. Both have been named Board Members of South Florida Tech.
“We saw a real opportunity in working together in a collaborative effort to connect our business leaders, economic organizations, educators, and elected officials in the tri-County region on behalf of our mission and community,” said South Florida Tech Chairman Michael Fowler. “We all have the same goal – create a nationally recognized South Florida hub of innovation and creation.”
As part of this expansion, 1909 will become an independent nonprofit organization. Named for the founding year of Palm Beach County, it was launched by Palm Beach Tech 2018 to provide coworking, mentorship, and accelerator programs based in downtown West Palm Beach.
“I’m proud of the success 1909 has achieved and look forward to seeing our next generation of entrepreneurs lifted up through the leadership of Chairman Nicholas Mohnacky and Executive Director Shana Ostrovitz,” said Russo, who co-founded 1909.
South Florida Tech (#BuildingSoFlo) will be focusing predominantly on talent and education initiatives in the coming year, and is welcoming anyone interested in joining the organization as a leader, member, or volunteer to reach out to email@example.com.
South Florida Tech is located at 313 Datura St., Suite 200, West Palm Beach, FL. For more information, call (561) 425-8918 or visit southfloridatech.com.
Ready for a getaway? Here are some "hot off the press" travel deals that just arrived --
Meliá Orlando Celebration
Meliá Orlando Celebrations offers an old-world charm meets new world design and contemporary comfort. Wild orchids grace tabletops and large-scale impressionist paintings combine with mosaic walls, which sets an atmosphere that is both European - an homage to its Spanish brand roots - and American Chic. Located right off of I-4, Meliá Orlando Celebration reopened in May following guidelines from the newly launched Stay Safe with Meliá by Meliá Hotels International.
Spacious suites feature 750-or-1,000 square feet of space and fully equipped kitchenettes, complemented by resort pool views. The hotel’s signature restaurant 360 American Bistro + Bar has modified their offerings from a self-service buffet into a market-style with pre-packaged grab and go offerings. With the promo code SAVE10MOH, guests receive 10% off nightly rates, kids stay and eat free, $100 in hotel credits, and early check-in/late check-out (conditions apply). Rates start as low as $90 per night.
About Stay Safe with Meliá:
The Spanish hotel company has partnered with Bureau Veritas a company leader in inspection, certification, and testing, to ensure the Meliá Hotels International system with regard to the management of preventative measures to combat COVID-19 in its hotels across the globe. Melia Orlando Celebration has modified its facilities and redesigned all their processes to reduce direct interaction and maintain hygiene standards and social distancing across the hotel.
Naples Grande Beach Resort
The beloved, independent resort is offering a special Florida Resident Rate for All deal, offering 20% off weekday rates, complete with complimentary breakfast and complimentary self-parking. Rates start as low as $195 per night for standard guest rooms, which boast sprawling private balconies with panoramic views of the city of Naples or The Gulf of Mexico
For guests that desire a bit more room, the resort is also offering its Sweet Suite Deal. Available on all 2020 bookings, this package includes the spacious accommodations of the resort’s remote Garden Villa One Bedroom Suites. Garden Villas offer an oasis away from the main tower, featuring 700 square feet of indoor and outdoor living space, two patios or balconies that overlook private gardens and ponds. Starting at $279 per night, guests who book this package will also receive daily breakfast for up to four. **Starting rate before offer is $499/night without any inclusions.
Naples Grande Beach Resort also has several of their signature food and beverage outlets open for limited seating and take-out options and the resort’s three pools remain open for guests, with proper six-foot distancing. Naples Grande Beach Resort has also developed its Safety and Well-Being Promise, focusing on three key pillars: Prevention. Cleanliness. Reducing Contact
Cheeca Lodge & Spa
The iconic Cheeca Lodge & Spa is offering its spacious, luxury accommodations at special rates for Florida Residents. Florida Residents can save up to 20% on weekday rates, along with 10% off all activities including restaurants, spa, private pool cabanas, water sports, and more. Standard golf course rooms start as low as $189 per night.
Adding to its early 2020 renovations which included the addition of an oceanfront pool and Tiki Bar, the resort also just expanded to offer private villa-style accommodations, The Casitas At Cheeca Lodge. Offering one- or two-bedroom accommodations, featuring 750 to 2,100 square feet of space and the option of resort or ocean view, The Casitas offer the most in privacy throughout the resort. Special amenities and features include large, furnished porches, fully equipped kitchens, bathrooms boasting rain showers and large soaking tubs, and washer and dryer. An ideal escape for families and group getaways, along with extended stays, The Casitas also includes personalized butler service to fulfill guests' every need during their stay. Exclusive to Casita guests only, this remote area features a private beach, pool, and tennis courts. The Casitas at Cheeca Lodge start at $1,099 per night. Cheeca Lodge & Spa has also implemented it's Safety and Well-Being Promise, focusing on three key pillars: Prevention, Cleanliness, and Reducing Contact.
'Paradise Pledge' Launched
(PRESS RELEASE)_Naples, Fla., July 20, 2020 – To assure travelers of its commitment to safety, Florida’s Paradise Coast – Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades, has launched The Paradise Pledge encouraging business owners and locals to pledge to follow the CDC and Fl Dept. of Health Guidelines as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pledge launched in July and is a voluntary program for businesses to complete to pledge the importance of safety to visitors and residents. Completing the pledge signifies the business owner will follow, meet and exceed CDC and Florida Dept of Health Safety Guidelines and protocols, in addition to the following:
“Safety is crucial for travelers right now, and we wanted to create something that would allow our locals and visitors to feel at little more at ease when they are frequenting businesses in Southwest Florida,” said Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB Executive Director Jack Wert. “We’re so proud of our businesses that have already taken the pledge and appreciate their commitment as we work together to keep our community strong.”
Angel In the Sky
Sunday afternoon, it appeared that an angel in the form of a cloud was hovering
over North Palm Beach. You can even make out a halo. Awe-inspiring.
(Photo by North Palm Beach Life).
(PRESS RELEASE)_Get ready to twist and shout "salud!" on National Tequila Day (July 24) with convivial sips at III Forks in Palm Beach Gardens.
Tucked in Mainstreet at Midtown, the celebrated steakhouse will be pouring creative tipples like the sophisticated Perfect Patrón Margarita, $13 (Patrón Silver Tequila, Patrón Citrónge Liqueur, sweet and sour mix, and orange juice), and the tropical Tangarita, $12, loaded with Herradura Reposado Tequila, Cointreau Orange Liqueur, Mango Reàl, fresh lime juice, and tamarind nectar.
Guests can also order margaritas to-go on the website by clicking the "Order Online" button. Margaritas are $14 each and feature Hornitos Plata Tequila, tart lime flavors, and triple sec. Serves 2.
III Forks is located at 4645 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens. For more information, visit 3forks.com or call (561) 630-3660.
Virtual Job Expo Set July 15
(PRESS RELEASE)_West Palm Beach, FL – The tech industry is booming in South Florida, and companies across the tri-county area are hiring. Palm Beach Tech, a nonprofit celebrating its 5th year leading the expansion of South Florida’s footprint in the technology sector, is hosting its second Virtual Job Expo of the year on Wednesday, July 15, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to facilitate the introduction of employers to job seekers in the area.
Job openings for entry level developers to senior data scientists will be featured from more than 25 companies from Miami to Palm Beach in the virtual expo, which is free for job seekers to attend. Registration information can be found here.
Palm Beach Tech will once again partner with Premier Virtual, a South Florida-based software developer who created a unique opportunity for job seekers and companies to experience direct connectivity through its enhanced virtual platform. The first virtual expo held in April 2020 drew more than 800 job seekers from across South Florida, and organizers anticipate a similar response this time around.
“One slice of good news in today’s economic environment is that the technology sector in South Florida is rapidly expanding,” says Nikki Cabus, Vice President of Development, Palm Beach Tech. “Several of our member companies have seen exponential growth in the last several months as people continue to turn to technology in their work and personal lives. The Virtual Expo was designed to help job seekers find those job openings and provide qualified candidates for the tech-related roles our exhibitors are seeking.”
South Florida Tech Career Expo highlights include:
- Multiple Categories: Tech, Non-tech, Contract/Freelance, Internship, and Educational Partner Opportunities.
- LIVE “Job Fair”: Set times throughout the day to connect tech talent with hiring managers LIVE to increase candidate interaction and assist with submissions for open positions.
- Online Educational Sessions: 30-minute educational webinars that will cover a variety of topics, with presenters from Modernizing Medicine, Boca Code and CareerSource PBC.
In support of the initiative, Palm Beach Tech has partnered with CareerSource Palm Beach County, Boca Raton Innovation Campus, eMerge Americas, Crocker Partners, Knight Foundation, Florida Venture Forum, GrowFL, and Marine Industries Association.
Companies registered to exhibit include: University of Miami, Boca Code, Modis, Digital Resource, Office Depot, Baquero Translations, Applied Innovations, Western Governor’s University, UBQFit, Nova Southeastern University, City Furniture, Signature Consultants, Flatiron School, Greyson Technologies, DNA for Insta, WynCode, WynTalent, Carrier, Digital Target, Garden of Life, DedicatedIT, Material Bank, 1909, Crown Castle Fiber, Liberator Medical.
For additional information, visit palmbeachtech.org, or call 561.425.8918.
Free COVID-19 Testing Lake Park
The Health Care District of Palm Beach County will provide free COVID-19 testing at Lake Park Town Hall on Wednesday, July 8 and Thursday, July 16, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Each individual is required to complete a one-page intake form prior to being tested. Links to the forms in English, Spanish and Creole can be found at https://www.lakeparkflorida.gov/ for your convenience. Completing the form in advance will help to expedite the testing process. If you have any questions, please call 561-642-1000.
Eight Florida Hotel Deals
With COVID-19 creating havoc with travel plans, many are viewing road trips as a safer alternative to getting away from it all. As you know, Pam and I love a ROAD TRIP, and a trip around the Sunshine State may be just the ticket. If you are, too, here are some Florida hotel deals you should check out.
The Brazilian Court Hotel – Palm Beach, FL
Resort Open for Business; Starting Rate: $189/night
Tucked away on Palm Beach Island, The Brazilian Court Hotel features just 80 rooms and provides guests with a private enclave that’s ideally structured for social distancing. With no central lobby or elevators, multiple entrances and discreet exits, and an intimate boutique setting, plus contactless housekeeping and express checkout services, the property accounts for limited to no interaction with others. Order-in room service from chef Daniel Boulud's coveted Café Boulud, or dine outside on the terrace (at tables spaced out 6 ft of course). For more information, please visit www.thebraziliancourt.com.
Pelican Grand Beach Resort — Fort Lauderdale, FL
Resort Reopened: May 28, 2020; Starting Rates: $399-$899/night
As one of the only true beachfront, boutique resorts on Fort Lauderdale beach, Pelican Grand Beach Resort is a quaint, laid-back luxe retreat set amongst the soothing sights and sounds of the Atlantic Ocean — ideal for those looking to social distance in style. From private balconies offering an escape and toes-in-the-sand dining surrounded by fresh air to picturesque views at OCEAN2000 Restaurant & Lounge and secluded exercise and exploration with on-site paddle boarding, the opportunities for adventure are unlimited. For more information, please visit www.pelicanbeach.com.
YVE Hotel Miami — Miami, FL
Resort Open for Business; Starting Rate: $89/night
Streamsong Resort — Bowling Green, FL
Resort Open for Business; Starting Rates: $169-$189/night
Nestled amid 16,000 acres of breathtaking naturescapes and seclusion, Streamsong Resort presents an unexpected luxury escape in an inspired setting. A unique topography of sand, lakes, and dunes has yielded 54 holes of highly-acclaimed, links-style golf — equipped with increased sanitation and hygiene practices, including a Curbside Clubhouse. The resort invites golfers to enjoy space and fresh air on the two-acre Gauntlet putting course and free-flowing 7-hole Roundabout practice area. Welcoming guests back on May 15, the ultra-modern Lodge also features a lakeside infinity pool and floating green, and will be serving socially-distanced meals at two of the resort’s five restaurants. For more information, visit www.streamsongresort.com.
Westgate Cocoa Beach — Cocoa Beach, FL
Resort Open for Business; Starting Rate: $225/night
Minutes away from the Kennedy Space Center, Westgate Cocoa Beach Resort offers an intimate, oceanfront retreat to bask in the sun. Guests can enjoy beachside concierge service and one-on-one surf lessons on its private beach, and take comfort in the boutique-style hotel’s spacious layout, no elevators on-property and full kitchens in each and every room. The world-famous Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier is just a few steps away, stretching 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, providing a gorgeous view and taking socially-distant dining on the water to a whole new level. For more information, please visit www.westgatecocoabeach.com and www.westgatecares.com.
Westgate River Ranch — Lake Wales, FL
Resort Open for Business; Starting Rate: $132/night
There is no better place to socially distance than River Ranch - a luxury Glamping resort along the Kissimmee River where the stars shine fiercely every night. The 1,700 acre, elevator-less resort offers glamping tents and luxe teepees, including a personal concierge to cater to your every whim. River Ranch offers a myriad of fun, open-air activities, including: horseback riding through scenic trails, airboat rides and pontoon boat rentals, fishing along the beautiful Kissimmee River, archery, and zip-lining amongst other adventurous activities. For more information, please visit www.westgateriverranch.com and www.westgatecares.com.
Bungalows Key Largo — Key Largo, FL
Resort Reopening: June 17, 2020; Starting Rate: $785/night
Ocean Key Resort & Spa -- Key West, FL
Resort Reopened: June 1, 2020; Starting Rates: $399-$899/night
Nestled along the water's edge with warm breezes and breathtaking views, Ocean Key Resort & Spa is a luxurious, intimate property with just 100 rooms, capturing the essence and energy of Key West, while delivering a charming escape - at a distance. Beyond the sun and sand, Ocean Key offers a taste of island living complete with spacious outdoor dining at the vibrant Sunset Pier and 'conch-fusion' flavor with fresh local seafood at Hot Tin Roof. For more information, please visit www.oceankey.com.
Mounts Garden Extends Hours
(PRESS RELEASE)_(West Palm Beach, FL – July 7, 2020) After safely re-opening to the public mid-June, Friends of the Mounts Botanical Garden today announced that it has extended its open hours most days and weekends. Mounts Botanical Garden is now open to the public 9 am to 3 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. The Mounts Nursery is now open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 am to 2:30 pm, and the Mounts Gift Shop reopens this weekend with a public sale, July 11-16.
“We are delighted to welcome friends and visitors to Palm Beach County’s oldest and largest botanical garden,” says Curator Director Rochelle Wolberg. “Our 14-acre tropical oasis offers 25 stunning display gardens showcasing 2,000 species of plants, and is conveniently located just minutes away from downtown West Palm Beach.”
In compliance with county, state and public health department recommendations, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Mounts Botanical Garden has safely implemented new Policies and Guidelines. For example:
+ Entrance to Mounts continues to be limited to no more than 100 people at a time.
+ social distancing is required throughout the garden.
+ All picnic tables have been removed.
Visitors to Mounts are strongly encouraged to review the new policies and guidelines at www.Mounts.org/Reopening prior to arrival.
Admission to Mounts has been reduced to $10 (general); $5 (children 5-12), and free for members.
Two family-friendly and ecology-conscious exhibitions are still in place at Mounts Botanical Garden:
+ Ribbit the Exhibit, which features a collection of larger-than-life frog characters, is expected to remain until mid-July.
+Cutting Corners: A Stickwork Exhibition is a massive, willow sculpture located in the Great Lawn area.
Updated program information about Mounts can be found on the Garden’s official website at www.mounts.org.
Exploring what to see and do in North Palm Beach and the South Florida area. Your hosts are Pam and Gerry Barker.
GERRY PRONOUNCED GARY
Listen to Chapter One of "Panama Palmer"