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Island resort owner honored as tourism partner

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

David Teitelbaum, left, Paul Blackketter and Rick Piccolo accept awards from the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau May 8. Islander Photo: Jack Elka

Bradenton Beach developer and hotelier David Teitelbaum was named the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Tourism Partner of the Year for 2012.

Teitelbaum received the award May 8 at the BACVB’s National Tourism Week awards luncheon at the Bradenton Convention Center in Palmetto.

Teitelbaum said he was shocked but honored when his name was called.

“It was a total surprise. There are a lot of people in our industry deserving of this award, and I’m honored that I was chosen. I couldn’t have gotten this without a wonderful, great staff at the resorts,” he said.

Teitelbaum owns and operates four resorts in Bradenton Beach, including the Tortuga Inn Beach Resort, Tradewinds, Seaside and the Tropic Isle resorts.

BACVB executive director Elliott Falcione presented Teitelbaum with the award, saying, Teitelbaum “has created a unique hotel brand on Anna Maria Island that has personified our brand to a T.”

Falcione said the award is presented annually to a person, persons or company in the area restaurant, lodging or attractions industry that shows economic impact, does its own marketing and works with the BACVB on promotions.

Also honored at the luncheon: Paul Blackketter, the chief operating officer of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Association, received the title of “tourism catalyst” for his work to expand tourism through developing the international sport of rowing and a host park for the sport.

The park is in contention to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships, hoped to draw athletes and coaches from 62 countries and pump about $13 million in direct spending into the Manatee-Sarasota economy.

Frederick “Rick” Piccolo, president of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, was honored with the tourism outreach award for his work to maintain airlines and flights serving the airport. In 2012, both airport and tourism officials worked to bring back United Airlines daily nonstop service from Sarasota-Bradenton to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

That deal followed the loss of AirTran Airways in August 2012.

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