Sunday, October 30, 2005

Good Golf

In August the Gulf Shores, Alabama community was shocked to learn that a deal was pending to sell one of the most popular golf courses in our area. The Woodlands course, developed 11 years ago, was a spectacular course that fronts the main artery (Hwy. 59)into our resort area. The owner of the course also owns two other popular courses and has worked with other courses to form the Gulf Shores Golf Association. This partnership with 9 golf courses and 14 accommodations companies, including Meyer Real Estate, has proved to be a powerful marketing tool to promote Gulf Coast golf. The marketing campaign has been more comprehensive as a joint venture than any one company could have accomplished on our own.

As a generous gesture to pay back the community for years of support, The Woodlands owner offered four days of free golf to area business owners and employees. Even though I did not think I could find the time to play I worked out my schedule and took off one afternoon in mid-October to celebrate the last few days of the course.

What a glorious day it was. My playing is no better than it usually is but that was not the point. Just being outside, enjoying nature, the perfect fall weather and the extraordinary beauty of this golf course was the point.

So what happens next? Well the developers who purchased The Woodlands plan to build retail developments along the Highway 59 frontage and create a wonderful area for homesites with lots of common area greenspace on the balance of the acreage.

The customers who frequent The Woodlands will be given the opportunity to play the other two Craft Farms courses, Cotton Creek and Cypress Bend. Both are fabulous golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer and are in excellent condition.

Another nearby course in Perdido Key, Florida has been undergoing redesign and upgrading since major damage last September from Hurricane Ivan. This wonderful golf course, Lost Key, also designed by Arnold Palmer will open by Spring 2006. The course was formerly judged by the average golfer as just too hard to play and commonly was called "lost ball" because of the narrow fairways and abundant wetland hazards. The redesign has taken all these negatives into account and will be much more user friendly.

We are so blessed to have mild weather so that we can enjoy the game of golf year round. And we are blessed with so many great golf courses at reasonable prices. To learn more about Meyer Real Estate's golf packages click

My next opportunity to play golf will come soon when the annual Zoolabration Golf Tournament will be played at Peninsula on November 16th. This fun event will benefit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo which opened last Friday after a year of repairs from Hurricane Ivan, Dennis & Katrina.

So golf is good in the coast and I'm finally able to take advantage of this fabulous area amenity.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Come on down!

Well if I had not seen it with my own eyes, during my lunch break today, I would not have believed that the City of Gulf Shores could perform the miracle they did to finalize beach preparation for the 34th Annual National Shrimp Festival. Not only were all the fine arts and arts and crafts booths set up but all the food vendors were up and running today as well. Just beyond the food booths where the usual food fare was back along with new seafood and non-seafood delicacies are the customary boardwalk with benches. It's so much fun to sit beachside with the breeze blowing to soften the sunny temperatures. In fact it was so breezy that my paper umbrella flew out of my "Maui Wowie" drink (a non-alcoholic concoction of orange & mango juice). Beyond the boardwalk, thanks to a multi-million dollar Beach Nourishment project, lies a much wider beach that has been sifted and combed to perfection. The powder-white, soft sand literally squeaks as you walk thru the dry area before reaching the water's edge. Not to miss an opportunity the sea gulls were flocking overhead waiting for the eventual handout and in case you are wondering I was a sucker once again to their begging. This time with no ill consequences to any festival attendees or myself.

The weather today was nearly perfect with low eighties in the day and sixties at night. The good news is that weather will last all weekend with no showers in sight. So, I'm telling you just throw some casual, comfortable clothes in a small bag and COME ON DOWN! Meyer Real Estate has rental properties nearby the Festival site in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Or you may chose to settle in a little farther from the action by renting a beach house or condominium in Fort Morgan or Orange Beach, Alabama or just across the Florida line in Perdido Key. Make your reservation online on this site or call us for reservation advice (800-213-9544).

Even though I only had a short time to visit the Festival today I was able to park nearby and accomplish my mission which was twofold. I found our favorite watercolor artist, Chris Hartsfield, and discovered he has some wonderful new additions to his art offerings. And I had my "pistol fix" which is not a drug but rather a delicious pastry filled with seafood and a wonderful cream sauce. At two for $5.00 this is a bargain for a taste sensation that cannot be purchased anywhere other than the Shrimp Festival. I'm sure as I visit again this weekend there will be more consumption of seafood pistols.

The music on both stages will no doubt prove to be fabulous and I'll dance in the streets with other business people in our area. As I've explained before this Festival is a big beach party for locals as well as visitors. To learn more about the Shrimp Festival, including the entertainment schedule,visit

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Falling for Festivals

Don't you find that as the weather becomes milder a type of fall fever strikes again - you know that urge to get outside after months of warm or even hot weather. No one really calls it fall fever like we do spring fever but it is the same feeling. Fortunately there are lots of fall festivals that give us solid reasons to spend leisure time outside.

In our area we have a great music festival, BayFest in Mobile, Alabama, coming up this weekend (Oct 7-9) featuring among the many artists the band Widespread Panic, American Idol runner-up Bo Bice and legendary B.B. King.

The following weekend (Oct. 13-16) Gulf Shores will celebrate that great crustacean -the shrimp. The 34th Annual National Shrimp Festival started as a way for locals to get together for a big beach party after the summer season. It soon evolved into a way to attract beach-goers back to the beach after the busy season. Then it grew and grew and more beach area was used to display fine arts, arts and crafts and of course local restaurants sold shrimp delicacies. The food list grew until the consumer can now find a wide variety of both seafood and non-seafood items plus lots of sweets. One of my favorite food vendors sells the most delicious fudge in a huge range of flavors. Not just chocolate and vanilla but truly an amazing variety. Check out the pistascio nut, it's very tasty. There's even a vendor selling homemade ice cream that is cranked by a John Deere motor. The festival extends well into the evening as the music gets into high gear at two stages.

This year we are promoting the Shrimp Festival by offering our vacation rental customers a FREE NIGHT during the festival. Click for details. We will probably experience lots of last-minute reservations as we approach the festival. It looks like we will have great weather and that usually makes the Reservation Hotline phone ring at 11th hour so to speak.

Now's the time to pack your bags and head our way because here on the Alabama Gulf Coast we are ready for fantastic fall festival fun.