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Powerboat Grand Prix returns to Sarasota

by Roger Pettingell

Grand Prix Festival, 11 days in Sarasota

2017 Annual Powerboat Event concludes with Fireworks on July 4

Superboats make their way out to the Gulf of Mexico
The Grand Prix returns with races on July 1 and 2.

The 33rd annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival starts this week. This is the festival that attracts thousands to Sarasota and the Lido Beach shores on race days, July 1 and 2. The economic impact is awesome, last year bringing in over $37 million to the area and providing financial support to Suncoast Charities for Children.

The festival kicks off with the Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic on Saturday at the Meadows Country Club in Sarasota. The tax deductible entry fee is $500 for a foursome with a shotgun start at 8:30 AM.

Lance’s Cruzin’ to the Hop Car Shows will attract visitors to Main Street in Lakewood Ranch on Sunday, 10 AM to 3 PM. Prizes will be given out with registration of $20 payable that morning.

Also on Sunday at 11 AM, the boat and personal watercraft fun run will begin at Marina Jack. There is a $20 entry fee beginning at 10 AM. There are three stops to Anna Maria Oyster Bar, the Seafood Shack and The Old Salty Dog. The best poker hands win $300 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third. A 50/50 raffle will be held at the last stop. Each participant will receive lunch and Fun Run t-shirt.

The Friendliest Catch Fishing Tournament is a private event on Wednesday at the Sarasota Outboard Club. Clients of the agencies supported by Suncoast Charities for Children will be competing for prizes. Over 8,000 special needs children are supported by donations and funding through events such as the Grand Prix. Money raised by the Suncoast Charities for Children supports the Suncoast Foundation, which provides grant money to five local non-profits that serve special needs children.

New to the Grand Prix schedule this year is comedy night at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre in downtown Sarasota. Tickets are $25 and includes one drink and complimentary food. The welcome receptions starts at 5:30 PM, before John Carfi takes the stage at 7 PM. John Carfi has been on many comedy shows including Comedy Central Standup to the Rascals Comedy Hour.

Thursday is the festival kick-off party at Michael’s on the Bay at Selby Gardens, starting at 6 PM. The band, Kettle of Fish, will be playing at the party that is $150 per person. Island casual is the dress style for this event that will include an open bar, food stations, 50/50 raffle and silent auction. Kettle of Fish is a local band that performs rock, blues and New Orleans soul genre of music.

Friday starts the race boating activity with the Boats on Main downtown Block Party and the autograph session meet and greet at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The entire family is invited to the meet and greet for two hours starting at noon. There is a $5 donation to get involved, 18 and under are free. Team pilots will be available for autographs and photos in the hotel ballroom. Boats with their crews will be set up on Main Street, from Orange to Palm Avenue starting at 6 PM. The reggae band Jah Movement starts at 7 PM.

Three festival events on Saturday coincide with qualifying races. From 9 AM to 11 AM the Finz Finds Motorcycle Charity Ride starts at Rossiter's Harley-Davidson, 330 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota. The course takes you through Myakka State Park and ends at Centennial Park where the Powerboat Grand Prix Fan Fest will take place. For $10 you will have access to the park, free gift to the first 250 riders, 20% off a purchase in the store and designated parking at the Fan Fest. There are over $500 in cash prizes. From 10 AM to 6 PM you can watch the races live and catch up with the race teams preparing their boats. At 1 PM judging for the Miss Powerboat P1 Swimsuit Contest takes place before The Caribbean Chillers take the stage at 3:30 PM. The Caribbean Chillers perform the songs that made Jimmy Buffett famous.

There are many winners from 2016 returning this year to capture their consecutive trophies. Competing in the P1 Superstock division on Saturday at 10:30 AM and Sunday at 10 AM, team Geico hopes to retain their championship. In the Unlimited division starting at 1:30 PM on Sunday, Miss Geico takes to the waters of the Gulf to defend their crown. Cleveland Construction defends their championship in the Superstock catamaran, starting at noon on Sunday. Last year’s champion in the Superstock V-hull division, Legacy Builders return with its boat Twisted Metal, Sunday at 1:30 PM. In the Super Vee Lite division, and in the P3 Class, the Blackpearl from Boatworx return to defend their titles. The Blackpearl, and Twisted Metal are Sarasota-based boats.

Qualifying personal watercraft races for the AquaX Pro begin at 9:30 AM, of which 52 riders are registered in four divisions of racing. The AquaX Pro races pick up again on Saturday at 2:45 PM and conclude on Sunday at 9:15 AM.

Some of the best viewing of the races is from the shores of Lido Beach. There is VIP Race Viewing at Sandcastle Resort for a fee of $100 per person which includes free parking at South Lido Beach and a complimentary gift. It also includes a free shuttle service to the VIP area. The races will also be streamed live on Facebook at AquaX Races and for the Powerboat Races. The races will also be broadcast on Fox Sports and Comcast Regional Sports Networks.

Award presentations will begin at 5 PM in Centennial Park, Sarasota. The Grand Prix concludes on July 4 with a Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular, starting at 9 PM at Island Park. Unless noted here, events are free and tickets can be purchased online from the Grand Prix website.

Powerboat Festival Schedule at a Glance

Date Event Location Time
June 24 Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic Meadows Country Club 8:30AM
June 25 Suncoast Grand Prix Car Show Main Street, Lakewood Ranch 10AM - 3PM
June 25 Boat & PWC Fun Run Marina Jack, Sarasota 11AM
June 28 Fishing Tournament (Private) Sarasota Outboard Club 9AM
June 28 Grand Prix Comedy Night McCurdy's Comedy Theatre 5:30PM
June 29 Kickoff Party Fundraiser Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 6PM - 10PM
June 30 Driver’s Autograph Session Hyatt Regency Ballroom 12PM - 2PM
June 30 Boats on Main Block Party Main Street and Lemon Avenue 6PM - 11PM
July 1 Motorcycle Charity Ride Rossiter's Harley-Davidson 9AM - 11AM
July 1 Grand Prix Fan Fest Van Wezel Parking Lot 10AM - 6PM
July 1 Qualifying Races Lido Key beach 9:30AM
July 2 Grand Prix Fan Fest Centennial Park 10AM - 6PM
July 2 Powerboat Races Lido Key beach 9:15AM
July 2 Race Team Awards Centennial Park 5PM
July 4 Fireworks Spectacular Island Park, Sarasota 9PM

Saturday Race Schedule at a Glance

Event Times
AquaX Pro Race 1 9:30AM - 10:15AM
Superstock Practice + Race 1 10:30AM - 11:15AM
Open Practice for Invitational Classes 11:15AM - 1:45PM
Superstock Race 2 & 3 1:45PM - 2PM
AquaX Pro Race 2 2:45PM - 3:30PM

Sunday Race Schedule at a Glance

Event Times
AquaX Pro Race 3 9:15AM - 10AM
Superstock Race 4 10AM - 10:30AM
Invitational Classes P1-3,P4-7 11AM - 1:15PM
Invitational Classes Cat Lite Superstock 12PM - 1:15PM
Invitational Classes Super Unlimited 1:30PM - 2:45PM
Invitational Class Super Cat 750 2:45PM - 4PM

Events like these help make Sarasota a wonderful place to live. Last week I listed three properties for sale in the Sarasota area. Walk directly from the open terrace of an updated, two-bedroom Beachplace residence, to the Gulf of Mexico shores on Longboat Key. An updated Queens Harbour home on Longboat Key is behind the secure gates of Bay Isles. A 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath residence at Majestic Bay on Golden Gate Point is in an ideal location to catch a few of the Grand Prix events. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
258 Golden Gate Point $1,695,000 Video Photo Slideshow
3517 Fair Oaks Lane $1,225,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1135 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #103 $779,000   Photo Slideshow


Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing


Sarasota - the New Hollywood

by Roger Pettingell

Shows filmed or are about this area

From movies to TV shows, the entertainment industry likes Sarasota

The Greatest Show on Earth movie
The Greatest Show on Earth is considered an all-time great by director Cecil B. DeMille.

Sarasota may be the next Hollywood now that the show, Claws, aired on the TNT network last night. It appeared as just another of a string either filmed or are about the Sarasota area. And there are many, beginning as early as 1932, continuing to this year when two shows debut with the Sarasota area as a backdrop.

If you were watching the Tony Awards and didn’t watch the show, Claws, which is centered in a Palmetto salon that is a site for women who make a business of money laundering. And it is getting good reviews as of this morning. It stars some very familiar actresses including Niecy Nash, Carrie Preston, Judy Reyes and Karreuche Tran. It was filmed in other locations but the producers had a crew in the area for 20 days to get background information and some local shots for the series. Local native Ryland Jones is a consultant for the company that is involved in post-production work for the show. It airs at 9 PM on Sundays.

Set to debut in July, the MTV reality series with a preliminary name of Siesta Key, is a show about living near the Number 1 beach in the United States. Its pilot was filmed here with little fanfare about 16 months ago, then followed with subsequent productions around the Siesta Key beach. The show is unscripted, depicting the lives of young adults and the relationships they nurture. A commercial for the show appeared May 7 during the MTV Movie and TV Awards ceremony.

It all started in 1932 with the movie Prestige, starring Melvyn Douglas and Ann Harding. Although the premise of the movie was not about Sarasota, it was filmed in Venice and on the Myakka River. Douglas was an alcoholic struggling with his command of a French Indo-China penal colony.

The Greatest Shows on Earth

Two of the most well-known movies about the area and filmed here received critical acclaim and achieved box office success. You likely have seen The Greatest Show on Earth, the 1952 fiction film directed by Cecil B. DeMille based on the real-life connection to the circus. The plot, production and the list of stars were enough to earn an Academy Award for Best Picture that year. Cornel Wilde played the Great Sebastion who demoted his girlfriend Holly from her center trapeze spot. The cast was a Who’s Who of Hollywood actors, including some of the best known stars Charlton Heston, James Stewart and Dorothy Lamour. Even circus clown Emmett Kelly had a role in the movie.

In 1993 The Great Wallendas was a made-for-TV production filmed entirely in Sarasota, starring Lloyd Bridges of Sea Hunt fame as Karl Wallenda. It may have been a prophetic depiction of local events, a tragic end of a seven-person high wire act. In February of this year, five were injured in a similar pyramid performance including Rietta and Lijana Wallenda. Nik Wallenda anchored the pyramid but caught himself on the wire and was uninjured.

Now for the Rest of the Movies

Less famous movies included A Flash of Green, a 1985 movie which pitted environmentalists against local land developers. The plot was a fictional account of the struggle in Palm City, a real town near Port St. Lucie and partially filmed on Casey Key.

Back to Palmetto, where Woody Harrelson portrayed a convicted felon who kidnapped a millionaire’s step-daughter, Odette, played by Chloë Sevigny. The 1998 movie was named for the Manatee County town but there are no reports any of it was filmed here.

A movie filmed mostly in the Tampa area, the 1999 movie Forever Mine did include a SCAT Sarasota transit bus when the crew was in town. Gretchen Mol played a politician’s wife who fueled a long standing vendetta between the characters played by Ray Liotta and Joseph Fiennes.

The fishing village of Cortez in southern Manatee County served as the backdrop for the movie Out of Time in 2002, starring Denzel Washington as police chief Matthias "Matt" Lee Whitlock who plotted to steal $550,000 that was confiscated in a recent drug bust. It was filmed in Cortez, Placida and Boca Grande.

Winter in Dolphin Tale
Most of the scenes in Dolphin Tale movies 1 & 2 were filmed on location at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Two movies about Winter, a bottlenose dolphin fitted with a prosthetic tail, were filmed in and around the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. In Dolphin Tale, a 2011 movie inspired by the actual story of Winter, Morgan Freeman plays Dr. Cameron McCarthy, who develops the mechanical tail from donated parts. Other stars, Harry Connick, Jr., Ashley Judd, and Kris Kristofferson form their own tale around Winter and the fight to keep the aquarium open. In the 2014 sequel, Dolphin Tale 2, the characters reunite to find a suitable companion for Winter so that the dolphin can continue to stay at the aquarium. By then child actors Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff are established stars. There is an exhibit about the two movies at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

In 2011 and 2012 three movies were filmed in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Armed and Dangerous was filmed here, the story of an ex-con who returned to this area to kill the woman who testified at his trial that led to his 20-year incarceration. The documentary, Last Will and Embezzlement, that focused on elder exploitation was filmed in Sarasota and had an appearance by Mickey Rooney. Bradenton was the location for The Message, a movie about a woman who struggled with religion after a serious car accident.

The House of Blood, Parker and Spring Breakers in 2013 were three films that had Sarasota as its backdrop. Although The House of Blood was about a crazed masked man who kidnapped a young stripper in Miami, the set of the movie was here. Parker was filmed on the grounds of the Ringling Museum at the home of John and Mable Ringling, Cà d'Zan. Spring Breakers may not be a movie for the older set, but it was filmed partially at the Ringling College of Art & Design. Other set locations included the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and St. Pete Beach.

Two 2016 movies about Christine Chubbuck

Sarasota WTOG and WXLT-TV reporter and morning show talk host, Christine Chubbuck, ended her life on live television, July 15, 1974. Based on the true story and tragic events that led to her suicide were portrayed in the movie, Christine, that premiered in theaters late last year. It was released in the United Kingdom this year and starred Rebecca Hall as Christine. Video of the original suicide surfaced last year but has been debunked for its authenticity by experts.

In Kate Plays Christine, Kate Lyn Sheil portrays Rebecca Hall in a documentary released in August before the release of Christine. Kate Lyn has had roles in the House of Cards and Sun Don’t Shine. In this documentary, director Robert Greene explored the exploitation of community suicide and the public need for creating a movie about the topic. It follows Kate Lyn as she prepares for the role of Christine by visiting friends and co-workers of the late television reporter.

Back to the Real Sarasota

I have a keen interest in movies as of late. My niece, Katie Dippold, is an actress and screen writer with recent credits for her work in movies The Heat, Spy, the new Ghostbusters released in 2016 and the more recent movie with Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer, Snatched. The Heat won two awards in 2014, the American Comedy Award and People’s Choice Award. She has several credits for her work in television comedies including the highly acclaimed Parks and Recreation series.

Professional film credits are going to Ringling College of Art Design students. Teachers, students and professional artists from Semkhor Productions are teaming up to produce movies in and about the area. The most current project is Killroy Was Here, an anthology horror series filmed at Nathan Benderson Park. Rated one of the best film schools in the country, the Ringling College is adding Studios A and B this summer and plan to have the Post Production Facilities finished in the fall.

Winter in Dolphin Tale
A Gulf of Mexico beach view from the balcony at 1000 Longboat Club Rd, #805 on Longboat Key.

Last week I listed a wonderful residence in Privateer South, #805. This eighth-floor residence overlooks the azure colored Gulf of Mexico waters and its sandy white beaches. Everything has been completely renovated including frosted-glass sliding doors that lead to each of two bedrooms. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
1000 Longboat Club Rd, #805 $699,000   Photo Slideshow


Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing


2017 Sarasota Music Festival

by Roger Pettingell

53 years strong and under new direction

First showcase is Thursday, festival runs through June 24 with 12 concerts

Holley Hall at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
Artist Showcases and the Rising Star student series will be held at Holley Hall each week of the festival.

Although the first concert this week of the Sarasota Music Festival is set for Thursday, musicians and aficionados have been pouring into the city for the activities that precede opening night of the three-week event. The welcome dinner was held last night to start the festival.

Now in its 53rd year, the Sarasota Music Festival extends into summer, marking its return as the first of the season when weekend festivals dominate the schedule. As in the past, the schedule of Thursday through Sunday each week has a different flair, mixing in students with accomplished professionals. Thursdays are devoted to acclaimed artists, while Friday Festivals feature students and professionals performing chamber pieces. Full symphony works are each Saturday, and Sundays present some of the best rising stars in the nation.

A slight twist was introduced this year by new music director Jeffrey Kahane that focuses attention on a Generation Y ensemble of six musicians in a program aptly named yMusic. They are to feature some classics on June 23 but have a selection of their own that may introduce some pop into the classical overtures. yMusic is the third of the Friday Festivals that will begin each week at 8 PM in the Sarasota Opera House.

Rising Stars - Scholarships for Sarasota Music Festival
Rising Stars — Scholarships were offered to 60 students among the 457 musicians who auditioned for the 2017 Sarasota Music Festival. They will perform in the Rising Stars series and ensembles of acclaimed professionals throughout the festival.

Kahane is the third festival music director and follows Robert Levin who is scheduled to lecture during the festival, June 17 at 1:30 PM in Holley Hall. Levin replaced the famed and late Paul Wolfe, one of the co-founders of the festival. Kahane will combine his experiences as pianist, conductor and educator, having served in all three capacities throughout his illustrious career including his last position as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Tickets for all concerts can be found on the Sarasota Music Festival website. They can also be purchased over the phone at (941) 953-3434 or during normal business hours at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota, 709 N. Tamiami Trail. Tickets start at $10 for the student recitals, $27 for Artist Showcases and Friday Festivals, to $32 for the Saturday Symphony series. The lecture by Robert Levin is $5.

And if you can’t make any of the concerts or you haven’t got enough of the music you can attend Chagall Nights at Michael’s on the Bay at Selby Gardens, June 14. Then some of the musicians from the Sarasota Music Festival will sit in with the Sarasota Orchestra for a special concert starting at 6 PM. This coming Sunday at 1:30 PM a special high definition showing of Wagner’s, Tristan and Isolde, will be shown in the Sarasota Opera House.

Artist Showcases – Thursdays in Holley Hall at 4:30 PM

Performances are already selling out, including the first Artist Showcase this Thursday, The Tempest. The night begins with three Gershwin preludes and concludes with a sonata by faculty artist Clive Greensmith on cello and Kahane on piano. As of this writing tickets are still available for all other festival events. Kahane and Levin combine in a Schubert composition for the second Artist Showcase, A Feast of Music, a light composition that was performed as entertainment during feasts, one of three compositions for the evening. Special Gems will be performed for the final Artist Showcase, June 22. Strings are featured in Ravel’s sonata. Wind instruments and piano are featured in a sextet by Poulenc, followed by a Violin Sonata in B Minor by composer Röntgen-Maier. Each Artist Showcase will begin at 4:30 PM in Holley Hall.

Friday Festivals – Fridays in the Sarasota Opera House at 8 PM

It’s All Bach for the first Friday Festival, a series of six Brandenburg Concertos by 17th century German composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Students join the ensembles for the first five of the evening. Each Friday Festival will begin at 8 PM in the Sarasota Opera House, the second of which is Shimmering Summer on June 16. The evening starts with Summer Music, composed by Samuel Barber, followed by a Mendelssohn string quartet and Brahms quartet, with Levin on piano. yMusic concludes the Friday Festivals on June 23.

Saturday Symphonies – Saturdays in the Sarasota Opera House at 8 PM

Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
Friday Festivals and Saturday Symphonies will be at the Sarasota Opera House on N. Pineapple Ave.

Interest is high in the Saturday Symphonies, the series each Saturday at 8 PM in the Sarasota Opera House. Jasmine Choi, a past student of the festival and now an acclaimed flutist returns to perform in The Triumphant Fifth. Her energy is sure to shine through in Jacques Ibert’s Flute Concerto, Op. 37. Mostly Mozart is mostly Mozart with a concerto in E-Flat Major to start the evening composed by Stravinsky in the second Saturday Symphony on June 17. Faculty violinist Alexander Kerr is highlighted in the conclusion with his performance in Violin Concerto No 3 by Mozart. Kahane is center stage once again on piano and as symphony conductor in Saturday Symphony 3, Adagio and Rhapsody, on June 24.

Rising Stars – Sundays and the last Friday in Holley Hall at 3 PM

Students perform in recitals for Rising Stars 1, 2 and 3, the first of which are performed by student ensembles to works of Faure, Dvorak, Nielsen, Schubert and Beethoven. Over 400 rising stars auditioned to be among the 60 selected for the festival. Four concertos on June 18 by master composers Brahms, Mozart, Maslanka and Bartok feature students on June 18 at 3 PM in Holley Hall. On the final Friday, June 23 at 3 PM, students take the stage for a Mozart clarinet quintet, Shostakovich string quartet and composition credited to Richard Strauss and Franz Hasenöhrl, Till Eulenspiegel - Einmal Anders!

Whether you are here for the three weeks of the festival or plan to stay longer, I hope that you enjoy your stay here in Sarasota. And if you want to make this a permanent residence, please contact me at (941) 387-1840 so we can find your dream luxury home on the waterfront.

Memorial Day celebration

by Roger Pettingell

A day to honor those who sacrificed

Events to consider for this holiday and the summer ahead

Superboats make their way out to the Gulf of Mexico
The Grand Prix returns with races on July 1 and 2.

I hope that you have good plans today for Memorial Day. It is significant that we honor those who have fought for our freedoms. There are many events today, in many different ways we can celebrate from concerts to parades. The weather is expected to cooperate, celebrate those heroes with family that this day is recognized for.

If you read this in time, the Sarasota Memorial Day Parade begins at 10 AM on Main Street, starting at Osprey Avenue and ending at J.D. Hamel Park. This is the Battle of Midway 75th anniversary and a scholar of that famous sea battle, Dr. Jim D'Angelo will be the keynote speaker in the park. Bring lawn chairs and coolers to Philippi Estate Park where the Sarasota Concert Band will perform from 2 to 4 PM in its Memorial Day Concert. There is a $5 fee for adults at this event.

In Venice the Memorial Day Celebration will begin at 10 AM in Patriots Park, followed by an open house at the American Legion Post 159 in Venice. Memorial Day will be celebrated at Veterans’ Monument Park in Bradenton, near the Riverwalk, starting at 9 AM.

Those in the military will receive a salute and a discount at participating businesses on St. Armands Circle. A Military Appreciation decal will appear on businesses with special offers from 10 AM to 8 PM to all those who served in the military. Jungle Gardens in Sarasota will offer a free entry with one paid entry to anyone who served. They are open today for this special from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Summer is a time to enjoy Sarasota

It is the unofficial start to summer, a good time to start making plans for some of the summer activities and events that are coming our way.

The Sarasota Music Festival officially starts next Sunday, a three week series of concerts by professional and highly talented student musicians. The first concert is the Artist Showcase on June 8. A different Artist Showcase will be performed each Thursday during the festival in Holley Hall beginning at 4:30 PM. Beginning at 8 PM each week in the Sarasota Opera House, chamber music will fill the air in the Friday Festival series. The Saturday Symphony series each week at 8 PM in the Opera House is an ongoing tradition.

Over 500 students nationwide auditioned for 60 spots in the Rising Star series of movements and chamber music. These ensembles of students will perform on different days in Holley Hall. Renowned scholar, educator and pianist, Robert Levin will give an insightful lecture, Saturday, June 17 in Holley Hall starting at 1:30 PM. I will write more about the festival next Monday in my REALTALKplus™ article. Tickets are available from their Music Festival website.

Thousands trek to Sarasota, Independence Day weekend, for the annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix races with best viewing on Lido Beach. The race dates are Saturday and Sunday, July 1 and 2, but the activities surrounding the Grand Prix begin June 24 with the Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic at The Meadows Country Club. There is a car show planned on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch, a Boat & Personal Watercraft "Fun Run" at Marina Jack and on June 28 there are two events, “The Friendliest Catch” Fishing Tournament that is by invitation only at the Sarasota Outboard Club on City Island, and the Grand Prix Comedy Night special at McCurdy's Comedy Theatre featuring comedian John Carfi. This year the AquaX and P1 Superstock races will be streamed live on Facebook. I will provide more information in my REALTALKplus™ article that week, June 19.

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, local theaters, farmers markets, festivals, fireworks and concert activities are all listed on our upcoming events page. Take civic pride in the events of today and enjoy the summer.

Last week I listed a wonderful penthouse in Marina Tower ideally located in the heart of downtown Sarasota, this one-of-a-kind residence is a showcase of panoramic views overlooking the bay, Gulf of Mexico, a bustling city life and Marina Jack. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
1233 N. Gulfstream Drive $3,695,000 Video  


Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing


Longboat Key prepares for the storm season

by Roger Pettingell

Friday Seminar is a prelude to season

Forums to include FEMA, weather and Red Cross services

Loose Sailboat
Don't forget your boat - Batten down the hatches.

Although we have been fortunate to be out of the direct paths of hurricanes for many years, last year’s Hurricane Matthew and Hermine sent a message to us that we should prepare for the season that officially begins next Thursday on June 1. The potential development of an El Niño effect should raise awareness for the possibility of a major storm.

In a Tropical Meteorology Project report issued by Colorado State University, 2017 is expected to have a lower level of activity with 11 named storms, four of those may develop into hurricanes. The cause for concern is that they included a one in four chance that one of those storms will hit Florida this year.

During the peak season from August to September it is expected that El Niño will weaken, but that may not be good news. Since El Niño refers to warmer ocean temperatures in the Pacific, the westerly winds it creates in the Atlantic has an opposite effect, reducing the chances of developing storms in our section of the planet. If they become strong during these peak months we could have an early end to the hurricane season. The expected weaker to moderate El Niño prolongs the season.

Preparedness is key for the keys

Longboat Key has had an initiative the last 14 years to provide its residents with the most up-to-date information on the subject. This year special guests headline their annual Disaster Preparedness Seminar this Friday in the Resort at Longboat Key Club, Harbourside Ballroom. Government programs, weather patterns and disaster relief forums will be led by Craig Fugate, Bob Harrigan and Steven Guetschow.

Craig is the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Florida Division of Emergency Management. As keynote speaker he will be able to best discuss the role of those two agencies in emergencies. A request for FEMA is initiated by the governor to act on any disaster that overwhelms the resources of the state. They can assist to provide communications, transportation, security and financial relief in times of a disaster.

Bob is a meteorologist with our local ABC affiliate on Channel 7 news. He has a nice ability to translate the complexities of the weather to an audience for understanding as to how they track and what may happen in a storm. Steven represents the American Red Cross, he is the acting disaster program manager for Southwest Florida. The Red Cross is instrumental in providing assistance to residents in times of a disaster. The three-hour seminar starts at 3:15 p.m. but reservations must be made by calling (941) 383-2466. There are special gifts for the first 125 to register for this free event.

Mike Mailliard of MIC Insurance shares some ideas on protecting your valuable assets in REALTALK™ #92.

In my REALTALKplus™ article June 20, 2016, I outlined more preparations for hurricanes. The information holds true for this year. In that article there is information on local shelters in Manatee and Sarasota counties. There is a link to my REALTALK™ #92 video, the second of a two-part series in which Mike Mailliard of MIC Insurance on Longboat Key discussed the steps that are necessary to ensure the safety of critical documents and 20 to 30 irreplaceable personal items.

There is information in that article on what to pack in times of an emergency. In all cases it may go without saying that your personal preparation for emergencies should not wait, they should be laid out well in advance. In times of a disaster, good preparation will be key to saving your heirlooms and possibly your life. You can start with a good communications plan, that may be the first to break in a storm.

Sarasota has links on its website for hurricane preparations which include what to do before a storm approaches to links for disaster relief if a storm destroys property. The Manatee County website has similar links and information on the history of hurricanes in Florida.

So, on November 30 we can all breathe a sigh of relief that we avoided a direct hit from a major storm or hurricane. The only hurricane we will have survived is the one that was poured in a glass with ice.

Theaters in the arts cultural city, Sarasota

by Roger Pettingell

Variety in Sarasota's performing arts

Most venues within walking distance downtown

Entrance to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Top celebrities perform here in over 100 events each year.

The opportunities for attending a play, musical or concert downtown is pleasantly astonishing. That is one reason why voters of American Style Magazine ranked Sarasota as the top arts destinations in the nation for populations of 100,000 or less. The histories of the venues are as intriguing as the performances themselves, starting with one of the most notable in the area, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

Performances at the Van Wezel are scheduled year round and are mostly one-day shows from well-known stars that are on a route that includes The Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. With over 100 performances scheduled this year, more than half are of cultural significance with ballet, Sarasota orchestra and town hall lectures. More than 25,000 students in the neighboring four counties are introduced to the arts each year here.

Attending a show at the Van Wezel is an experience in itself. Arrive early to stroll the banks of Sarasota Bay or socialize with others with fine dining at Mattison's Bayside. Even the color of hall is a sample of royalty, a purple and violet combination suggested by Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, the widow of famed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Although there are 1,736 seats in the hall, the more popular artists do sell out their shows. The future of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is in question as community leaders discuss the acres of property on the bayfront, either to replace the building constructed in 1969 or to design a downtown community that includes this historic structure.

Long tradition of opera at the Sarasota Opera House

Sarasota Opera House
The Sarasota Opera House, open since 1926.

You can walk among the theaters in downtown Sarasota, some that are close to the Van Wezel. The Sarasota Opera House is host to operas, a venue for the annual Sarasota Film Venue each April or the upcoming Sarasota Music Festival, June 8-24. Opened originally in 1926, the building that seats 1,119 patrons was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Currently the opera house is owned by the Sarasota Opera Association, it was once used as a performance hall that included stars such as Will Rogers and Elvis Presley. The Greatest Show on Earth movie had its world premiere at the opera house in 1952 with its stars Charlton Heston and Dorothy Lamour in attendance. The summer HD at the Opera House series begins its run May 21 with high definition operas, ballets and plays including The Marriage of Figaro, Tristan and Isolde, Madama Butterfly, Faust, Swan Lake and Macbeth.

The Players Centre for the Performing Arts seeks a new beginning

Across Tamiami Trail near the Van Wezel is the Players Centre for the Performing Arts with more than 86 years of performances in downtown Sarasota. Actors bring some of the best Broadway plays of the day to the stage with daily performances. Their Summer Sizzler Series begins June 14 and includes such plays as Beau Jest, The Marvelous Wonderettes and Arsenic and Old Lace. The series concludes with the premiere of the New Play Festival winner, Mammoth Bones, August 22-27. The organization may lose its downtown location, having put the building up for sale this month. Its plans are for a three-theatre complex in Lakewood Ranch to be built within three years.

Social gatherings for the arts with the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

REALTALK interview with Nate Jacobs of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
Interview with Nate Jacobs of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe in REALTALK™ #101.

Nearby is the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe on 10th Way downtown, entertaining audiences with plays and musical performances by talented local actors. It was founded in 1999 by its current artistic director, Nate Jacobs. The WBTT is expanding also with its current Heart & Soul Campaign that is raising funds for a new performance hall that will accommodate more guests and continue to sell out their shows. A popular show each December is the Black Nativity which has become a tradition of the troupe. Nate Jacobs adapted this show from the poetry of Langston Hughes. Currently running is the play, Dearly Departed, a comedy about a funeral for the family’s departed father. I proudly sit on the board of directors for the WBTT.

A village of theaters within a city at Florida Studio Theatre

A number of theaters in one block comprise the Florida Studio Theatre complex of Keating, Gompertz, Goldstein and John C. Court Cabarets, and Bowne's Lab Theatre. Since 1973 the theaters provide the heart for a series of mainstage productions, cabarets, education and new play development in contemporary settings. Every Saturday the FST Improv Troupe delight audiences with their improvisational comedy shows. Now in its ninth year, FST invites improv troupes from around the globe to the Sarasota Improv Festival for three days. This year, July 13-15, there are 22 troupes competing in the festival.

Historic Asolo, Cook and Mertz at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts

On the grounds of the Ringling Museum is the home of the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, a series of three theaters. Originally constructed in 1798 in the Italian town that bears its name, for 132 years the Historic Asolo Theater was the home of famed Italian actors and actresses when it was dismantled in 1930 and placed in storage. Following World War II the Ringling purchased the theater and its four tiers of seats to be placed on the grounds of the museum. There it remained in a gallery until the late 50s when it was reconstructed as a home for modern theatre. It was moved once again to its current location on Bay Shore Road on the museum grounds and renamed the Historic Asolo Theater. The building will be closed to tours and performances through June 1, as the new Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion is in construction next to it. The first performance is scheduled June 13 through July 29 with Bello Nock, a comedic acrobat in IncrediBello!

Asolo Repertory Theatre
The world premiere of Beatsville is the current repertory production in the Mertz Theatre.

Across the street are the Mertz and Cook theatres, home of the Asolo Repertory Theatre and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. The Mertz Theatre has a similar history as the Historic Asolo Theater, first constructed as an opera house in Dunfermline, Scotland where it stood for 86 years before it was purchased for the Ringling and moved here in 1903. The 500-seat theatre is in use primarily for plays by the Asolo Repertory company, a group of professional actors. The smaller 161-seat Cook Theatre in the same building is used as a theater for small-cast repertory shows and for the Florida State University MFA Acting program. No more than 12 students are admitted to this storied College of Fine Arts program that has been training actors for 40 years. The Theatre is named after Jane Bancroft Cook, a philanthropist and heir to the family owned Dow Jones & Company, where she served on its board for 36 years before her death in 2002.

There are other theaters and cinemas in the area and many more from Bradenton to Venice, the heritage this city has for arts and entertainment date back to John Ringling and his circus. It is one of the many reasons that many people take up residence here in this part of sunny Florida. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

New downtown construction update

by Roger Pettingell

1,500 new residences within two years

Downtown Community Redevelopment Authority district update

Marina Jack and the VUE in downtown Sarasota
VUE Sarasota - When completed this summer the VUE Sarasota will have 144 news residences and 255 hotel rooms overlooking Marina Jack.

A lot has happened to downtown Sarasota new residence construction since I last reported on the progress that is in the Downtown Community Redevelopment Authority district. That is much of the area in the 34236 zip code but does not include Bird and Lido keys. Most recently Golden Gate Point was added to the reporting. In all, 1,500 new residences will be in construction or completed within the next two years. The inventory is good, contact me to see any active listing that I mention in this article.

Downtown Sarasota

One of the largest projects and most visible on the skyline is the 144 luxury residences and 255 hotel rooms associated with the Westin Hotel chain is VUE Sarasota. Retail stores and three ballrooms are also in the mix. But labor shortages pushed the occupancy dates to an expected July 2017 completion. There are four residences remaining for sale at the VUE, starting at $962,000 for a 1BR/1.5BA unit with two-car garage to a 3BR/3.5BA penthouse on the 18th floor with three assigned parking spaces listing for $3,399,000.

Rising quickly from the ground on the other side of Tamiami Trail at the old CoCENTRIX property, the BLVD properties have two active sales on the seventh and 16th floors. Completion date for this 18-story community is expected in May of next year. The building will have 8,300 square feet of office space and its own restaurant. An infinity style pool will be constructed on the rooftop overlooking Sarasota and the skyline.

Three of the 10 two-bedroom, two-bath residences are active in the MLS for the Courtyard at Citrus Square in downtown Sarasota. These luxury condominiums above retail shops and restaurants are expected to open in July. The common areas feature a fireplace with sitting area in a private courtyard. These remaining units are offered with one carport from $385-$404,000.

1500 State street, Sarasota
Two of 20 residences remain for sale at 1500 State Street, expected to be completed in November.

There are two projects on State Street that when completed will offer 177 of the new residences in Sarasota. At 1500 State Street, 20 properties in the $390,000 range have two remaining active listings with a completion date around the end of this year. The bigger project in the 1400 State Street block, The Mark community, will be completed first quarter of 2019. A penthouse is for sale at $1.9 million, a 3BR/3.5BA home with 2,649 square feet of living space. Luxury abounds on the fifth-floor amenities of The Mark that includes a resort-style pool with private cabanas and fire pit lounge. A Resident’s Club Room, News Room and fitness center are also planned for this floor. Five properties are currently for sale in The Mark.

A certificate of occupancy is awarded to another townhouse community of 40 properties on Cosmopolitan Court. The Q, just south of Main Street in the Laurel Park neighborhood has seven active listings, mostly selling between $600 and $990,000. There is a three-bedroom, three-bath residence that is offered for $1,595,000. One of the bedrooms in this designer townhome is a private guest apartment with its own kitchen.

Near the historic Burns Square area

The Orange Club in the historic Burns Square area is expected to be completed in two months and will feature two projects of 15 condominiums and nine townhomes. There is one townhome that is listed among the five properties that are active for sale. The residences can be purchased between $525 and $760,000 while the townhouse is offered at nearly one million dollars.

Sansara, the recently completed community on South Pineapple Avenue near Burns Court has two residences for sale among the total 17. Two, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom condominiums are listed at $2.95 million and $2.25 million. Amenities include a pool, private spa, cabanas, fire pit, outdoor kitchen with bar and a private gym with yoga room.

The resurgence of the Rosemary District

There are four properties for sale at Risdon on 5th, ready to be completed this summer. Different floor plans offer configurations of one to three bedrooms. This is a Rosemary District neighborhood zoned for mixed use with 22 residences and office space. There is a rooftop pool that is heated with solar panels for energy efficiency. The Rosemary District is close to boutique shopping, fine dining, theaters and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall with performances by international stars and symphonies.

Valencia at Rosemary Place is being constructed in three phases, of which the permit for phase III was issued in April. Phase II is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. There are 30 townhomes in this community of which two are offered for sale. The Madrid floor plan has 1,973 square feet of living space with three bedrooms and three and one-half bathrooms. With a two-car garage this home is listed at $550,900. Listed for the same price, the Almeria floor plan at 1254 May Lane is slightly larger at 2,099 square feet. It also has three bedrooms but is less one full bathroom. It has a two-car garage and private terrace off the master bedroom.

Six residences will be mixed with commercial space at Zahrada, or "Garden" in the Czech language. These homes at 1524 Fourth Street, also in the Rosemary District, has an expected completion date in August of 2018. Each condominium will be over 3,000 square feet and have three levels. Offered in the $1.3 million range, each home will have its own swimming pool and garage space for two cars. There are currently two of these on the market.

Golden Gate Point, 23 acres of prime real estate

On Golden Gate Point there are two remaining residences in the completed Aqua community. Award winning architect, Guy Peterson, was the designer of this community with an amazing list of amenities including a fitness studio, yoga room, sauna, wine room, putting green and waterfront heated pool and spa with barbecue and entertaining area. Each residence has an enclosed two-car garage and private boat slip with lift.

Also on Golden Gate Point, the four-story townhouse Allure communities with 4,000 square-foot residences were selling in the $2.2 to $2.7 million range. At ONE88 on Golden Gate Point there are two active listings in the community completed in 2015. Floor plans are offered with 3,000 square feet of living space and configured with three bedrooms and three and one-half bathrooms. The Pearl at 609 Golden Gate Point has half of its eight residences for sale. This community has a listed completion date of April 1, 2018 and will face downtown Sarasota on the eastern side of Golden Gate Point. Amenities include a pool with spa, cabana, barbecue, two-car garage and rooftop patio. Each property is 2,750 square feet, has three bedrooms, three and a half baths. The listing price starts at $1.65 million and increases $100,000 with each level.

We have prepared a page on this website with a description, photo, prepared active search and additional links for most of the new residence communities on Longboat Key, Lido Key and Sarasota. The latest update was made April 21, 2017. Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of any active listing mentioned in this article.

Van Wezel shares its 2017-18 schedule

by Roger Pettingell

Award-winning performances on schedule

Variety of dance, musicals, orchestra and concerts on tap for 2017-18

Aerial view of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Aerial view of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

While urban planners figure out the future of the big purple building that sits on the 60 acres of land in the Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 cultural park, that famous building known as the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has announced its schedule of events for the 2017-18 performance season. Many of the favorite acts return, including the Jersey Boys for three nights April 10-12. Once again they are bringing in new acts that will excite those who love ballet, symphony orchestras, chorus ensembles, well-known single acts and plays. This place has it all coming up with 45 shows on the schedule within the next year. As in past years I suspect they will be adding more world-renown shows to the schedule so you may want to sign up for their announcements as a Van Wezel E-mail club member.

Concerts by the Stars

We can start with some of the single acts since that is the next big performance coming up when the legendary Frankie Valli with his Four Seasons perform May 20. Frankie Vallie has been an iconic star since 1962 and still draws in fans for sold out shows. The Four Seasons’ fame is popularized by the Jersey Boys, their success is still strong during these decades of musical high-pitch vocals.

Next up is Idina Menzel on May 27, another vocal genius that rivals the likes of Barbra Streisand. She typically sells out too. Diana Ross of the Supremes is up on stage, June 23. The singing group has 12 number-one singles, she by herself has 31 top-10 selling singles. On to 2018, January 16, with the return performance of four-time Grammy Award winner Renée Fleming. Her range is opera to classical jazz, garnering her awards for Best Classical Vocal Solo artist.

Tributes to the Best in Music

Tributes to stars that are no longer with us are on the schedule. Buddy, is the musical story December 5 of Buddy Holly, from his rise to fame to his death and “The Day the Music Died.” A Night with Janis Joplin on January 8 is an outpouring of her famous hits by an ensemble that is an incredible recreation of her talents and the influences of others that Janis Joplin idolized.

Friday Fest ‘17

If you like musical bands, there are local favorites and national talents on the stage. In a series of local favorites labeled as Friday Fest ‘17, there are three Friday concerts on the third of each summer month and one on the fourth Friday beginning with Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones on June 16. This group transferred their talents from Detroit to become a home-town favorite in Sarasota. Considered the best band by voters in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune balloting, Kettle of Fish takes the stage, July 21. The only fourth Friday Fest ’17 concert will be August 25 with the Jah Movement Reggae Band. Expect plenty of love for lead vocalist, Shantel Norman, as she performs in front of her home-town fans on her birthday night. Reverend Barry & the Funktastic Soul completes the Friday Fest ’17 party on September 15. They will be accompanied by The Hellacious Horns who will bring to life some of the genre songs from the 60s and 70s.

Doo Wop Music

Also with songs from that era, the Doo Wop Spectacular hits the stage November 4 featuring best hit songs from the Shirelles. Original lead singer Shirley Alston Reeves joins in on the fun with their hits and other songs from the Golden Age of Rock & Roll. Cleveland Still and the Dubs, The Coasters and The Boomerz round out a spectacular night of music.

Symphonies from Around the Globe

The winter months are filled with plays, musicals, operas and symphonies starting with the Salute To Vienna on New Year’s Eve that combines opera, ballroom dance and ballet with the rich sound of a Sarasota symphony. The China National Symphony Orchestra comes to the Van Wezel February 22 with their blend of Western and Asian compositions. On March 11 the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba will ease relations between two countries with inspired classical Cuban and Latin American works.

Chamber music is highlighted when the Academy of St. Martin In The Fields, led by violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, visit the Van Wezel March 24. This show combines small ensembles with full, rich, orchestra classics. World renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble embraces Sarasota with the world through classical renditions, April 19.

Tango, Dance and Ballet

Ringo Starr and his All-Starr band at the 45th anniversary of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota Florida
Ringo and his All-Starr Band - Pictured is Ringo Starr and Gregg Bissonette on drums, and Richard Page and Todd Rundgren on guitars at the 45th Anniversary of the Van Wezel, February 24, 2015.

The Van Wezel has been busy scheduling dance arrangements. Tango Fire starts 2018 out right January 12 when the troupe The Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires introduces the Argentine Tango to the Sarasota audience. Balletboyz perform February 1 with their duet ballet movements to two works, Serpent and Fallen. The following week on February 7, Shaping Sound under the choreography direction of Travis Wall, will bring their new production to the Sarasota stage, After the Curtain, a story of a man who fights to find his creative voice after the death of his love. Romeo & Juliet & Carmen, two full length ballets are brought to life February 27 by the Moscow Festival Ballet. Dance to the Movies March 12 showcases the talents of Dancing With The Stars Celebrity Pros and So You Think You Can Dance top finalists to bring back classic movie dances. An odd-ball, but truly amazing way to portray light and shadows in one performance is the stage show by the Mummenschanz troupe, You & Me, at the Van Wezel, April 26.

If you like Musicals

Spectacles of musicals and performances, so good they could not be contained in one night, round out the 2017-18 schedule at the Van Wezel. A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder was the 2014 Tony Award® for Best Musical, a story January 6 and 7 that outlines the hilarious plot of Monty Navarro to claim an entire inheritance by eliminating eight relatives. The tantalizing antics of Sally Bowles in Cabaret plays two nights at the Van Wezel, January 30 and 31. Circus 1903 combines magical illusionists with amazing puppeteers to bring back the feeling one must have had at the circus in the turn of the 20th century. Dorothy, Toto, a wizard, witches and a cast of well-known supporting characters take to the stage to celebrate the original film, The Wizard of Oz, March 6 and 7. There will be eight shows of Motown, The Musical, spread out over six days with matinees on Saturday and Sunday, March 27 through April 1. This show celebrates the best music that had a historic significance in the country. Broadway performers and their lives come together in humorous and touching ways for A Chorus Line, April 24 and 25.

A show in a category of its own, Peter Pan on March 26 is a sensory perception portrayal of the original story of Peter and Wendy. The show is a combination of holograms seen through 3D glasses, large-screen video and dance performances for the audience to participate along with the characters in Never Never Land.

Start Your Night at Mattison's Bayside

Mattison's Bayside
Mattison's Bayside is a popular gathering place

At this time tickets can be purchased for four of the upcoming shows through the Van Wezel website box office. If history has taught me one thing, I would not wait for some of these popular shows, especially if you are looking for multiple seats together. Some shows sell out of their 1,736 seats that are available. Also, make plans before each show to treat yourself to fine dining at Mattison's Bayside in the grand foyer of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

Turtle nesting season begins with new laws

by Roger Pettingell

Turtle nesting season begins Monday

A new Longboat Key ordinance takes effect this year to protect turtles

Literature on new law and helpful tips for turtle nesting
Turtle Nesting Literature - There are plenty of pamphlets on the subject, click the image for a video.

Turtle nesting season officially begins May 1 but the turtle watchers are already combing the beach looking for any activity that may be a little early. These wonderful animals need our protection as the parents lay the eggs, the turtles trek to the sea and begin their journey of life in the seas. Government and private organizations are working hard to preserve this ritual of life’s beginnings. They are doing this through legislation, watch programs and public education programs.

In 2016, with the help of the Longboat Key Turtle Watch program, 1,184 nests with hatchlings were identified. Sarasota County accounts for the highest density of nesting turtles on the Gulf Coast of Florida. This watch group made up of volunteers is sanctioned by Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, responsible for marking nests so that visitors on the beach can enjoy their time there and understand the areas that should not be disturbed. This group patrols the Manatee County portion of Longboat Key each morning during the May 1 to October 31 official nesting season. They identified 578 of the total nesting areas last year.

All data on turtles in the county is collected by volunteers and staff at Mote Marine and the Coastal Wildlife Club. Another group, The Anna Maria Turtle Watch is made up of volunteers on that island. The information collected by all groups is sent to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

There are estimates that mature female Loggerhead Turtles at 25-30 years old lay approximately 100 eggs in each of four to seven nests over a two-week period. Last year the renourishment program returned over 500,000 cubic yards of white sand to the beaches of Longboat Key through dredging and daily truck hauls. Since nesting turtles return to the area of their start in life a major change to the nesting area presents another challenge.

You can help with some simple compliance with laws and beach maintenance, particularly during night time hours:

  • Interior lamps should be moved away from windows.
  • Do not use any lighting on the beach for fishing.
  • No campfires or cars are allowed on the beach.
  • Report any pets other than service animals that are on the beach.
  • Fill in any holes dug into the sand and remove beach furniture by hand, equipment is not allowed during nesting season.
  • It is recommended that beach furniture be stacked away from potential nesting areas if it cannot be removed. Turtles nest high on the beach to avoid high tides.
  • Do not set furniture closer than five feet to a marked nest.
  • Remove any plastic from the beach that can be ingested and ultimately deadly to turtles.

Any nesting disturbance or stranded turtles should be reported to Mote Marine at (941) 388-4331. A video on sea turtle protection can be found here. Turtle nests are marked by yellow caution tape attached to four stakes in the sand and marked with a yellow Sea Turtle Nest notification. Typically there are additional marks that include dates and the person responsible for the nest. Try to collect as much information as possible in your report to the Sea Turtle Program at Mote Marine.

There are rules to observe to avoid disturbing sea turtles while nesting
Sea turtles can nest in high traffic areas like this one outside a popular restaurant on Anna Maria Island.

This is the first year of a new Sea Turtle Protection Ordinance on Longboat Key that alters enforcement, lighting on the beach and removal of beach furniture at night when the hatchlings make their way from the beach to the sea. In the water they journey to a nearby seaweed line for food and shelter. Of those hatchlings only one of every 1,000 to 10,000 are expected to reach maturity. This law protects all nesting turtles, including the threatened Loggerhead and endangered Green turtles that nest here.

The new ordinance allows enforcement of protections on any night when in the past officers were only walking during moonlit nights. A number of restrictions on home lighting in the coastal areas were enacted, all to prevent disorientation of the turtles making their way to the sea. Beach furniture should be removed during the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 p.m. Temporary structures or furniture will either be tagged by law enforcement or removed from the beach.

A letter from Mote Marine to citizens in the affected coastal areas outlined some of the changes on artificial lighting that can deter nesting females and hatchlings from making their way to the water. If an home or public interior light can be seen from the beach the shades must be drawn or tinted with a light transmittance value of 45% or less. Special outdoor lighting can be used that are either red or amber in color. Do not use flash photography on the beach. You can request a lighting inspection of your beachfront residence before the law takes effect May 1 by calling Chris Elbon of code enforcement at (941) 316-1966, ext 277.

There is plenty of information available for residents of these affected areas. Educating yourself is helpful so that you can continue to enjoy the beach and help protect these creatures of the sea. Hotels also possess varying degrees of literature for their guests. If you have a guest staying in your residence or you know someone who is visiting you can also help by presenting them with this information. Your efforts will let them know that you are concerned about the environment of Longboat Key. It will help you, your guests and the turtles.

New luxury home brand for Coldwell Banker

by Roger Pettingell

New luxury brand for Coldwell Banker

Last week's launch phases out Previews International for Global Luxury

Luxury Home for Sale at 5080 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Global Luxury home for sale - This Home for Sale at 5080 Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key will now appear under the Global Luxury brand.

When the historian Edward Gibbon penned the quote “All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance” most likely didn’t have Coldwell Banker in mind, but it certainly is applicable to the hugely successful real estate company. The leader in residential real estate sales has announced a major rebranding of its high-end market, changing from Previews International to Global Luxury.

Why a company that represents more than 25,000 homes for sale over $1 million is compelled to change directions in its branding is best summed up by corporate executives.

“Our relevance in luxury has endured because we always observe and anticipate the changing needs and desires of the modern-day affluent client. With an eye to the future, the luxury team embarked on a journey to reinvent the luxury marketing offering.”

That was in a letter announcing the change last week, co-written by Charlie Young, President & Chief Executive Officer of Coldwell Banker and Bruce Zipf, President & Chief Executive Officer, NRT LLC. NRT is the parent company of Coldwell Banker.

This highly progressive company is always looking to the future of real estate and not going in retrograde. Coldwell Banker handles more than $133.5 million in luxury home sales each day with an average sales price of $1.94 million. And now more than ever the company should be bullish on the luxury market.

In an article posted this year by the real estate watchdog group Inman, 2017 will be a great year for the luxury market. They cited four reasons in that there will be new ways to finance high-end homes, foreign buyers are expanding into the U.S. market, we are part of a historical growth period and there is typically an upturn in post-election purchases.

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury logo
Moving forward with the new branding effort for Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

We are in Phase III with the national launch of the new branding which kicked off last Tuesday. Phases I & II were ramping up phases that gave us time to order the new materials that will aid a successful launch. Now the new website, is live. The website will forward to the Global Luxury website so you need do nothing if you have it bookmarked in your browser. The residential site will show an inventory of all homes listed on the MLS, including those over $1 million, further expanding the luxury home reach. This website had over 10.4 million visits which resulted in an average of 1.6 listing views per visitor in March.

That is a lot of traffic and good exposure for your home listed with our company. Your listing is also syndicated out to over 40 real estate portals including Zillow, Trulia and when we build your single property website, such as the one listed here at Your home will also be a featured listing on our website, which receives hundreds of visits a day.

If you are a fan of the Coldwell Banker articles written in Previews Inside Out, they have rebranded those news stories as the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury blog. Since social media is a strong marketing format, you will begin to see the changes across the Internet at Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Our websites and social media outlets have the new logo with service marks.

Coldwell Banker also promotes its luxury market with direct mail and print advertising, a total annual net reach of 1.1 million high-end buyers. There are 100,000 inserts into each issue of Unique Homes, with readers in 80 countries. The company inserts a supplement in the Friday issue of each Wall Street Journal edition in nine major cities. It prints 150,000 for direct mail to individuals with home values over $2 million and a net worth over $25 million.

These new efforts should have good effects on marketing homes on Longboat Key. Buyers will have good access to rich information that is available for each home listing. Our office here is also experiencing good growth. I have been told we will be making an announcement in the press this week about our growth and the new branding efforts.

I hope your Easter holiday weekend was a good one. As an added note, the Fifth Annual Blue Ties & Butterflies at Michael’s on East in Sarasota this Wednesday has some open tables that I encourage you to participate in. This fundraiser provides major support for the Child Protection Center in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. If you can’t attend I urge you to give a donation to this highly worthwhile organization that provides critical support for children with prevention, intervention and treatment programs. You can purchase a ticket or donate through the event website here.

I added two new residences for sale last week on Longboat Key. The first is a beautifully upgraded, two-bedroom beach retreat, located on the ninth floor at the Privateer South, #906 and overlooks the Gulf of Mexico stunning azure waters with views from every room. The second is a three-bedroom residence in the popular community of Beachplace, #305 on the lower end of the island. This home has a spacious layout and is ready to immediately enjoy or rent. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
1000 Longboat Club Rd, #906 $829,000   Photo Slideshow
1075 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #305 $779,000   Photo Slideshow


Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 276

Why Choose
Roger Pettingell?


  • Over 32 years as a top producing REALTOR® on Longboat Key and in Sarasota.


  • Number 1 single Coldwell Banker agent in all of Florida for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016
  • Number 1 Realtor on Longboat Key and Bird Key for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016
  • Number 1 Realtor for all Sarasota in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016
  • Coldwell Banker Society of Excellence award in 2013, 2014 and 2016
  • Ranked among the top 250 agents in the country for 2014 and 2016 by REAL Trends as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

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About Roger Pettingell

Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is your Longboat Key, Florida Luxury Real Estate Specialist. Roger provides his real estate expertise to sellers, investors, developers, and buyers in the Sarasota area including Anna Maria, Bird Key, Bradenton Beach, Casey Key, Cortez, Grand Bay, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, Marina Bay, Osprey and Siesta Key. Search for homes, luxury homes, condominiums, investment property, development property, and vacant land and lots on the Longboat Key, Florida and the surrounding area.