Archive for July, 2013

Allegiant Air Announces More Direct Flights into Punta Gorda

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

allegiant airTraveling to Punta Gorda just got a little bit easier. Beginning in late fall, Allegiant air will add 8 more cities to its nonstop air service into Punta Gorda Airport. To welcome these new markets on to their roster they are offering introductory fares from $69.99-$124.99 one way.

 

The new destinations are:

  • Youngstown, OH beginning October 30th
  • Bangor, ME beginning October 30th
  • Allentown, PA beginning Oct. 31, 2013
  • Springfield/Branson, MO beginning October 31st
  • Moline/Quad Cities, IL beginning November 1st
  • Asheville, NC beginning November 2nd
  • Cedar Rapids, IA beginning December 18th
  • Des Moines, IA beginning December 19th

Since 2009, Allegiant Air has offered flights in and out of Punta Gorda. They began with only two cities on the Punta Gorda roster: Greenville, South Carolina and Knoxville, Tennessee. They now provide direct service to 19 cities from Punta Gorda.

Tim Bradshaw, the Eastern Iowa Airport director in Cedar Rapids, commented “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Allegiant to bring direct service to Southwest Florida. From the first flight in 2004, our community has taken advantage of the low cost travel options that Allegiant provides. We look forward to a lasting partnership.”

Previously other small direct flight airlines attempted to build business going in and out of Punta Gorda, but they didn’t stick. Forbes Magazine has named Allegiant Air one of America’s 100 Best Small Companies four years in a row. With these new additions and its good reputation, it seems Allegiant air is here to stay.

Punta Gorda Airport is located off exit 164 on I-75. You can book tickets on Allegiant at http://www2.allegiantair.com. The introductory rates are good until August 6, 2013 and are good for travel dates up to February 11, 2014.

 

 

ARR! ‘Tis thee Fisherman’s Village Pirate Fest Weekend, July 26-28, 2013

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

All ye’ scallywags, rapscallions and scoundrels! Get out ye eye patches ‘n ye scull hats. ‘Tis Fisherman’s Village Pirate Fest this weekend. Bring ye matey’s young and old. Thar’ be mermaids and live music all weekend. And limes fer all ye cocktails. Thar’ be no scurvy at this Pirate Fest!

Friday

Pirate Fest starts off Friday at noon when thee  info booth opens. Get ye’ tickets fer th’ Pirate’s Ball, FishVille Crawl, and Dinner with the Pirates.

Fisherman's Village Pirate Fest FlyerKick ye’ heels up an’ enjoy some live shanties from the Bawdy Boys, Bone Island Buccaneers, and the Brigands. Pirates b’ playin’ thee shanties all day long while live mermaids wet thee fins hourly from noon to 5pm.

ARR! At 1:45, thar will be a Black Powder Weapons presentation with muskets, cannons, and flintocks followed by a demonstration. Catch an barnacle-covered fashioned cutlass fight on thee center stage at 3:45.

Vendors close down at 6:00 pm, but thee live music continues until 9:00.

Leave ye’ wee ones with a wet nurse and head over to thee Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association for thee Pirate’s Ball. Thee ball begins at 8:00 pm and features more live music, hors d’ouevres, and a cash bar. Don ye’ best pirate wear. Thee costume contest will be judged at 9:45.

Performances start at 10:00 pm. But beware! The rapscallions in the show can b’ a bit naughty!

Saturday

Sink me! Blimey! Saturday starts early for ye’ who b’ up late shakin’ ye’ knee breeches. Thee info booth opens at 10:00. Again, thar will be shanties and mermaids entertaining ye all day.

Thee landlubbers Pirate Parade takes off at 10:30 a.m. and travels through thee vendor area and thee Village.

12:00 pm–Bring ye’ mateys to thee west docks to watch thee Pirate Flotilla Boat Parade and Invasion. Thar’ b’ war on those docks with th’ Ship-to-Shore cannon invasion.

4:30 pm–ARR! Ye’ pets be invited to show off their pirate wearin’ goods at thee thee Pet Pirate Costume contest.

Stick around for more swashbucklin’ cutlass fighting at 4:45.

8:00 pm–Twilight Fire Dancing show at thee Center stage.

6:30-9:00 pm–When ye’ belly starts rumblin’ The Captain’s table is servin’ a Surf ‘n’ Turf buffet. Reserve yer spot early. Seatin’ b’ limited.

Sunday

Blimey! Thee mermaids and shantie playin’ carousers be out all day starting at 11:00.

2:00 pm–Walk thee Plank Competition at thee West docks. Win Best Splash, best strut down thee plank, or best cheer from the scallywaggin’ crowd.

2:00 pm–Lady Chaos Carol and Jaded Jetty lead thee wee ones in a Treasure Hunt. Th’ swag b’ thars!

4:30 pm—Children’s pirate costume party. Dress ye’ little scallywags up in their best puffy shirts and pirate hats.

5:00 pm—Closing cannon shots at thee west docks.

Arr! Buckos b’ thar’! Picaroons b’ not! What arr ye’? A bucko or a picaroon?

Join the Fun! Wednesday Night Fun Runs at the Foot Landing

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013
Alex Andreae's marathon-loving wife, Melissa, during one Wednesday night fun run

Alex Andreae’s marathon-loving wife, Melissa (in light blue), during one Wednesday night fun run

If you have been downtown on a Wednesday evening lately, you may have wondered about the parade of sweaty athletes zooming by. They are all participating in the Foot Landing’s Wednesday Night Fun Run.

The Foot Landing, Punta Gorda’s downtown running store, held its first Wednesday night fun run back in April. About 30 people participated. Fourteen weeks later, the fun run is up to an average of 100 people every Wednesday night. Even on rainy nights, over 90 people have shown up to get sweaty. Whether you run to compete or power walk to keep your heart healthy and your mind sharp, you are bound to find someone who matches your pace.

“I usually only run when my marathon-loving wife chases me with a cattle prod,” Alex Andreae admitted, “but the camaraderie at this run really makes it fun. Of course, the beer at the end doesn’t hurt.”

While there is no actual carrot on a stick to motivate you, the whole thing winds up at the Celtic Ray where runners gather to socialize, win prizes, and replenish.

Registration is at 6:00 p.m. at the Foot Landing. You simply sign a waver and grab a raffle ticket. The run is free of charge. The routes are 2 miles for walkers and 3 miles for runners. At the end of the run, the store raffles off prizes on the top floor of the Celtic Ray. Special prizes are awarded to those who have completed 10 and 20 runs.

Need more motivation? The fun runs are an excellent way to train for the Foot Landing’s Hot August Night’s 8k which takes place on August 24th.  Proceeds from the 8k go to 1-2-3 Run, a program to develop and promote the sport of running in our local schools.

Wednesday Night Fun Run registration starts at 6:00 p.m. Walkers take off at 6:15 and runners begin at 6:30. There is no cost to participate in the run/walk. The Foot Landing is located at 117 Herald Court Suite 1112. Parking is free in the garage above the store.

Punta Gorda Ranks in Best Place for Retirement Investments List

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you already know that RealtyTrac recently rated Punta Gorda as one of the top 15 Retirement Spots for Investing. RealtyTrac rated cities with at least a third of the population over the age of 65. Then, they looked at increases in median home prices, positive capitalization rates (meaning rentals generally produce a positive cash flow), cost of living, average temperature, and average chance of sunshine.

According to the report, RealtyTrac vice president, Daren Blomquist believes, “These popular retirement cities will very likely be an area of growth in the housing market over the next 15 years as baby boomers retire in greater numbers. The baby boomer generation started retiring in 2011, a trend that will continue at least through 2029, ensuring plenty of demand for both rentals and owner-occupant purchases in these markets for the forseeable future.”

Punta Gorda is the Michael Phelps of Best Places to Live

While we were excited to see our town on the list, I can’t say we were surprised. Over the past 20 years, Punta Gorda has shown up on “Best of” list after “Best of” list. We are kind of like the Michael Phelps of places to live. We win a lot.

So you can see exactly what I am talking about, I put together a lineup of all the “Best of” lists Punta Gorda has popped up on over the
winner

past 20 years. (I included links where the links are still live.)

Best Retirement

U.S. News and World Report named Punta Gorda “One of the Best Healthy Places to

Retire”

US News and World Report, Editor’s Pick

Porfolio.com Ranked Punta Gorda in its 10 Best Places to Retire using U.S. Census data

Best Place to for Investing and Business

Money Magazine, #2 ranking for future job growth

The Forbes/Milken Institute, Best Small Place for Business and Career List (Punta Gorda has made this list twice.)

INC Magazine, Boomtowns for enrepreneurs

Money Magazine, Top 10 Turnaround Towns

Best Place to Boat

Sail Magazine, Best Places to Sail

Yachting Magazine Finalist in 50 Best Yachting Towns

Best Place to Golf

Golf Digest Ranked Punta Gorda #3 on Best Places to Golf.

Best Overall

Punta Gorda has spent years dominating Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live. It has won:

#2 Best Place to Live in America

#1 Best Small Town to Live in America (Two time winner)

#1 Best Place to Live in the South

#4 Best Place to Live in America

#3 best small place to live in America

#5 best place to live in the south

MSN House and Home, #4 Best Place to Live in America

Did I miss any? What “Best of” list would you say Punta Gorda wins?

What To Do in Punta Gorda on July 4th

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

fireworksLooking for stuff to do in Punta Gorda on the 4th? You are in luck. There is plenty of celebrating going on all over town. The trick is keeping up with all the fun. Here is the skinny on what is going on in Punta Gorda this Independence Day.

Laishley Park

Water-mania

Five years ago, when Smugglers events took over managing the fireworks, they turned it into all day event at Laishley Park. Water-mania was born. At 10:00 a.m., Laishley Park transforms into a fair ground with water slides, food, games, and bounce houses.

Entrance fee is $3. Food and activities require tickets. For $10, kids get a wristband that lets them slide and bounce all day.

Live Music

From 6:00 pm-9:00 pm, The Boogiemen Rock-n-Soul Revue take the stage.

The fireworks begin at 9:00 p.m. Directly afterwards, Jack Michael and Drive 31 will play. According to Jerry Cleffi, event manager over at Smuggler’s events, they added post-fireworks music last year to alleviate traffic. It was a huge success. Instead of sitting in your car waiting to leave the parking lot, hang out awhile and enjoy the show.

Fisherman’s village

22nd Annual Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim

While nobody considers the Peace River the local swimming hole the other 364 days a year, all of that changes on July 4th. At noon, hundreds of swimmers will take off from the north end of the U.S 41 southbound bridge and make their way to Fisherman’s Village. Although many don’t really swim as much as they float, raft, or paddle. The Freedom Swim is not a race. It is more like a leisurely stroll in the water.

Participants are encouraged to swim with a buddy. The event starts at noon, but anyone looking to participate should arrive a half an hour early.

Family fun

While the grown-ups are traversing the Peace River, kids can get their face painted by Metamasque Face Painting from 11 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Jeff the Juggler will perform from 11:00 a.m. -3:30 p.m.

If you’re hungry after the swim, you are in luck. The Fisherman Village restaurants are offering specials all day.

Live music

From 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., acoustic band, Beans and Seeds, will perform classic rock mixed with some modern day hits.

At 5:00 p.m., Mercy takes the stage and will play until the fireworks begin at 9:00 p.m.

The Fireworks

World champion firework company, Garden State Fireworks, will start the show at 9:00 p.m. We hate to give too much away, but Cleffi tells us that just last week they added a significant feature to the finale that adds the necessary “wow factor.”

You can check out the fireworks anywhere along the water or from the water if you or a friend owns a boat. For those who want a primo seat, the Military Heritage Museum is throwing a party on the roof of the Herald Court Parking garage. The event features live music from Golden Hippo, hors‘d oeuvres, and a cash bar. Cost is $20 per person.

What do we recommend?

We recommend doing it all. Take full advantage of being in Punta Gorda on Independence Day. Start your day off at the swim, either swimming or cheering. Then, move over to water-mania. You can probably even make it home for a few hours, so the kids can get a nap. If everyone in your group is past napping age, check out some live music or stop and have a cocktail. Whatever you do in Punta Gorda this 4th of July you are guaranteed a good time.